an image of just in time manufacturing implemented at an assembly facility

What is Just In Time Manufacturing?

Just in time manufacturing is a system of manufacturing that refines manufacturing processes, like part making, assembly, and

Just in time manufacturing is a system of manufacturing that refines manufacturing processes, like part making, assembly, and purchasing to their essential scheduling and execution. This is in contrast to what many manufacturers succumb to in planning months in advance and stockpiling to meet projected demand based on forecasts. It revolves around production on an as-needed basis, which minimizes inventory levels and reduces costs.

Essentially, Just in time manufacturing is a system that seeks to keep inventory and work in process low, while keeping deliverability high.

Who Needs Just In Time Manufacturing?

Both the manufacturer and the customer benefit from the implementation of Just in Time Manufacturing principles. For the manufacturer, the system emerges as an effort to cut down on the 7 wastes of manufacturing. Keep time and associated costs tight on every part of the production process for a streamlined experience and a more organized mode of operation.

For the customer, the search is always on for a supplier that can deliver the highest quality product at the lowest cost in the shortest lead time. By achieving superior internal efficiency, the manufacturer delivers on customer satisfaction more easily.

What Makes The Just In Time Manufacturing System

The just in time manufacturing system is based on the Japanese production levelling system known as Heijunka. As such, it can be broken down into three core concepts: Takt Time, Continuous-flow manufacturing, and a Pull system.

Takt Time 

This component of just in time manufacturing represents the rate at which a manufacturer complete parts or products to meet a customer’s demand. Think of the baton an orchestra conductor uses to keep the band in time. In fact, Takt is the German word for a conductor’s baton. Takt time is a production schedule defined by and perfectly in-time with customer demand. You’ll define your takt time in a way that tells you how many parts to produce per minute, e.g. 1 part per 15 minutes, to be in sync with customer demand.

Continuous-Flow

Continuous-flow manufacturing, also known as repetitive-flow manufacturing, moves a single unit through each step of the production process. This is in direct contrast with batch production for discrete manufacturers, which can lead to idle time on production lines. Continuous-flow units run through the line start to finish. There is no room for idle time. Continuous-flow is a kanban concept that requires a persistent examination of processes at a facility. It revolves around improving efficiency at all stages of production.

Ideally, a facility utilizing a continuous-flow manufacturing system will integrate all production processes and strive for an optimally balanced production line. This means minimizing waste, producing at the lowest cost without sacrificing quality, and delivering goods on time.

The Pull System 

A manufacturing pull system is a reactive strategy that reduces waste in the production process. A “pull” system is demand-dependant. Components used in manufacturing processes get replaced when consumed. This is in direct contrast to a “push” system, also generally referred to as Make-to-Stock (MTS) operations. This is where a facility runs as many products through the production process as possible. Replacement ordering takes place at regular intervals, regardless of demand.

By combining these three essential components of Just In Time manufacturing, an organization can operate on much leaner means. Achieving high efficiency and customer satisfaction doesn’t mean a business has to sacrifice quality or have big pockets. For more information on how to refine your manufacturing operations, reach out to Encompass Solutions using the link below.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.

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