Strategos Lean Briefing

The Newsletter of Lean Manufacturing Strategy
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Kansas City

28 NOV 2006

Issue# 51

Mixed Model Production

An Under-Appreciated Element of Lean

Mixed Model Production assembles multiple product versions, intermixed on the same line and without changeovers.

The objective is to reduce variability on upstream work centers or suppliers. It also reduces inventory, improves kanban and eliminates line changeovers.

While the Lean literature mentions Mixed Model Assembly, the concept is often overlooked in practice. There are several reasons for this:

1) The technique does not always apply.

2) The benefits of reduced variability are often unappreciated.

3) The Toyota approach (usually described) is peculiar to automotive.

4) Many firms focus on Final Assembly and view Fabrication or Suppliers as independent entities.

Our new pages on Mixed Model Production explore the original Toyota-type line as well as some alternatives. The pages can help with Value Stream Mapping, Group Technology, Cellular Manufacturing or Plant Layout. I hope you find the information useful.

Regards & Happy Holidays,

Quarterman Lee

Value Stream Mapping Book

"The Strategos Guide To Value Stream & Process Mapping"

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The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes  beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader not only how to do it but what to do with it.


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