Flow Manufacturing — What Went Right, What Went Wrong
This book tells 101 stories of company efforts to implement the many aspects of flow manufacturing — including such topics as just-in-time production, total quality control, reorganization of factories into product-focused or customer-focused cells, plants-in-a-plant, material flows by the simplicity of visual kanban, supplier partnerships, quick setup of equipment, cross-training and job rotation of the work force, and many more. The 101 mini-case studies – dubbed “caselets” — include 26 non-U.S. companies from 12 countries and cover a wide swath of industrial sectors, and include many well-known corporations such as Apple, Campbell Soup, Honeywell, and Boeing.
From the 1980s to the present, the author has been taking the message of process improvement and customer-focused excellence far and wide. Most of these travels, usually in connection with delivering a seminar, include brief factory tours in which he compiled detailed notes and then organized them as brief reports ― his unvarnished analysis or take on what they do well and what needs improvement. In the main the reports were then sent back to the hosts of the plant tour. These factory tours and these follow-up reports form the basis of the large majority of this book’s caselets.