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Just-In-Time Manufacturing: Benefits and HP Case Study
In Kaizen, JIT is a is a collection of concepts and techniques for improving productivity. JIT is a process aimed at increasing value-added and eliminating waste by providing the environment to perfect and simplify the processes.
Just-in-time manufacturing means producing the necessary items in necessary quantities at the necessary time. It is a philosophy of continuous improvement in which non-value-adding activities (or wastes) are identified and removed. Putting this concept into practice means a reversal of the traditional thinking process. In conventional production processes, units are transported to the next production stage as soon as they are ready. In JIT, each stage is required to go back to the previous stage to pick up the exact number of units needed.
Production Leveling; Pull System; Kamban (label or signboard) system; Good Housekeeping; Small Lot Production; Setup Time Reduction; Total Preventive Maintenance (TPM); Total Quality Control (TQC); JIT Purchasing; Line Balancing; Flexible Manufacturing; Small-group Activities (SGA)
Being a very important tool for just-in-time production, kamban has become synonymous with the JIT production system. Kamban, meaning label or signboard, is used as a communication tool in JIT system. A kamban is attached to each box of parts as they go to the assembly line. A worker from the following process goes to collect parts from the previous process leaving a kamban signifying the delivery of a given quantity of specific parts. Having all the parts funneled to the line and used as required, the same kamban is returned back to serve as both a record of work done and an order for new parts. Thus kamban coordinates the inflow of parts and components to the assembly line, minimizing the processes.