Modularity – Definition and Advantages

Modularity is a degree to which a system’s component maybe separated and recombined. However, it can be used in different contexts and its definition changes accordingly. For example. In Biology, it is the concept that organisms or metabolic pathways are composed of modules. In Nature, modularity refers to the construction of a cellular organism by joining together standardized units to form larger compositions. In cognitive science, the idea of modularity of mind holds that the mind is composed of independent, closed, domain-specific processing modules, etc. But here we will be concentrating on Modularity in operations management, which refers to an engineering technique that builds larger systems by combining smaller subsystems. The growing concern for the environment has spurred a great interest in environmentally aware design and manufacturing amongst designers worldwide. Introducing Modularity in consumer products can help bring multiple manufactures come together creating differentiated assembly lines that can decrease theContinue reading

Important Aspects of Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management philosophy that supports the process of continuous improvement within an organization and where total emphasis is placed on the customer. In the socioeconomic viewpoint, TQM defines the customer as all members of society and facets of environment that interact with the activities of the company. TQM is also defined as a set of management practices throughout the organization, geared to ensure the organization consistently meets or exceeds customer requirements. The goal of TQM philosophy is – “Do the right things right the first time, every time.” One of the principal aims of TQM is to limit errors to 1 per 1 million units produced. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a significant advance over traditional Quality Control (QC) programs. Traditional QC concerns itself with the number of final items found defective, replacing them with good items, or else negotiating the predicted failures into a supplyContinue reading

Concept of Agile Manufacturing

The Agile Manufacturing was presented in the first time at the publication in the USA of a report entitled 21st Century Manufacturing Enterprise Strategy. So, it has been introduced as a method of increasing competitive advantage in response to increasingly competitive global markets. Agile concept focuses on the fast response to changeable of customer demand. The key component in agile manufacturing is flexibility. The agile manufacturing methods can be adjusted and consolidated into companies of any size to ensure the growth and success. The changeable of customer and technological requirements that make the manufacturers develop agile supply chain capabilities in order to be competitive. So, many companies use the flexibility and agility to respond the customers’ requirement and markets demand in real time. The new concept of agility manufacturing need to secure competitive advantage from the production process that can be both efficient and responsive. Agility can be defined asContinue reading

Analyzing Toyota’s Recipe for Success – The Toyota Way

The fundamental reason for Toyota’s success in the global marketplace lies in the so called “Toyota way”. The Toyota Way is not only about technology and efficiency, it is about doing the right thing for the company, its employees, the customer and the society as a whole. In other words, the incredible success of the Toyota way is a direct result of operational excellence. Toyota has turned operational excellence into a strategic weapon. This operational excellence is only in part based on tools and quality improvement methods made famous by Toyota in the manufacturing world, such as JIT, Kaizen, and one-piece-flow. Although such techniques helped spawn the “lean manufacturing” revolution, tools and techniques are no secret weapon for transforming a business. Toyota’s continued success at implementing this tools stems from a deeper business philosophy based on its understanding of people and human motivation. Its success is ultimately based on itsContinue reading

Cellular Manufacturing – Meaning, Implementation and Benefits

A cellular manufacturing layout is in direct contradiction to the traditional production line. In the production line, numerous workers are needed to service a single production line running from receiving of raw material to shipping of finished product. A breakdown in staffing or machinery in any part of the line nearly always resulted in the entire process being idled until the specific difficulty in the line was repaired, or re-crewed. With cellular manufacturing, production is divided among groups, or cells, of workers and production machinery. Thus, the breakdown of one cell, due to equipment malfunction or staffing problems, does not radically affect the rest of the production process. Technology and cellular manufacturing have combined to streamline the production processes of numerous established and start-up manufacturing facilities worldwide. Lean systems, such as Kaizen, and Six Sigma, to name just two, though very often high in startup cost, provide both a short-Continue reading

The Toyota Production System (TPS)

A key success factor that enabled Toyota to become the world’s most successful automobile company is its famous manufacturing method, the so called Toyota Production System (TPS). The evolution of the Toyota production system approach can be traced to the period immediately following the second world war when the economic outlook was uncertain and human, natural and capital resources were in limited supply. Against this background, the most important objective of the Toyota System has been to increase production efficiency by consistently and thoroughly eliminating waste. This concept developed between 1948 and 1975 by Toyota’s former president Toyoda Kiichiro and later by Ohno Taiichi and Eiji Toyoda represents a highly efficient production system that is similar to that of Henry Ford several decades earlier, although Toyota’s approach to both product development and distribution proved to be much more consumer-friendly and market-driven. The main objective of TPS is to produce goodsContinue reading