Just In Time Systems Essay

2081 words - 8 pages

In today's companies, new catch phrases and ideas are beingdeveloped each and every day. One of the more popular ideas that iscirculating around these days is the idea of just-in-time manufacturing.Many magazines and newspapers have documented the efforts of companiesto develop and implement just-in-time processes. The question can be asked,though, what does just-in-time mean? How does a company implementjust-in-time processes, and what are the results of implementation?Just-in-time manufacturing is basically the idea that companies shouldhave manufacturing and purchasing strategies that reduce the time betweenthe beginning of the manufacturing process and shipment to the customer.This sounds easier said than done, for the development and implementationof these strategies are some of the most difficult tasks in just-in-timemanufacturing.One key idea that must be understood about just-in-timemanufacturing is throughput time. This is the time between the start of themanufacturing process and the end, where the product is ready to be shipped.Five key elements are involved in throughput time. The first element isprocessing time, or the time actually spent working on the product. Next isinspection time and moving time. Moving time is simply the amount of timespent moving the product from one production department to another, as wellas back and forth from storage areas. The last two elements of throughputtime are waiting, or queue, time and storage time. Queue time is the amountof time a product is waiting at a production department before being workedon, while storage time is the amount of time raw materials, finished goods,and works-in-progress actually stay in storage. Just-in-time philosophy saysthat the first element, processing time, actually adds value to the product,while the last four key elements do not.1 Thus, there are value-addedactivities and nonvalue-added activities. Just-in-time manufacturing tries todecrease the amount of time spent on nonvalue-added activities as much aspossible.Just-in-time philosophy was first used by Toyota in Japan. Since thattime, many companies around the world have begun to successfullyimplement just-in-time processes, including several companies in the UnitedStates. The implementation of just-in-time processes have taken on afamiliar pattern in these companies. Usually it is begun by training everyonein the company about the just-in-time philosophy. The basic just-in-timeconcepts that employees would be trained in and made to follow asguidelines are listed in Table I.Table I* Visualize the process in as few steps as possible.* View inventory as moving, not static.* Emphasis should be placed on the synchronization of each process.* Simplify, combine, eliminate* Wastes are: over and under production, unnecessary steps, and excessiveinventory and motion.2These basic ideas are not unique to just-in-time, but are crucial in trainingemployees about the just-in-time philosophy.Most companies have realized now that...

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