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Just in Time (JIT), as a survival strategy for the manufacturing industry against fierce global market competition.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2 2. How Just in Time evolved? 3 3. What is Just in Time 5 3.1 Goals of JIT 3.2 Elements of JIT 3.3 JIT Implementation 3.4 Problems in Implementing JIT 3.5 Benefits from JIT 4. Success stories 8 5. JIT in the West 10 6. Who may not benefit fully from using JIT? 12 7. Technologies and Concepts that originated from JIT 14 7.1 KAIZEN 7.2 Lean Manufacturing 8. References 16 9. Appendix 18 INTRODUCTION Just in Time (JIT) has often been considered as a survival strategy for the manufacturing industry against fierce global market competition. The three words say it all, everything happens just in time. For example, consider my journey to college this morning, I could have left my house, just-in-time to catch a bus to the college, just-in-time to arrive at my college, just-in-time to pick up my lecture notes, just-in-time to walk into the lecture room, just-in-time to attend the lecture. Theoretically there is no problem about this; however achieving this in practice is likely to be difficult. Similarly in a manufacturing process materials could theoretically arrive just-in-time to be picked up by a worker and used. This eliminates any inventory of materials; they would simply arrive just-in-time. In the same way finished goods could be produced just-in-time to be handed to a customer who wants them. So, at a conceptual extreme, JIT has no need for inventory or stock, either of raw materials or work in progress or finished goods. Obviously this is not as easy as it sounds. It might well be difficult, or impossible, or extremely costly affair, in real-life. However we could move an existing system towards a system with more of a Just in Time element. For example, consider a manufacturing process - in terms of handing finished goods to customers, we would still require some inventory of finished goods.

Middle

* JIT cell operator headcount reduced by 60% per shift, compared with the headcount required for the same capacity in a conventional production line. Implementation of JIT manufacturing cell added flexibility and did a job with fewer staff thereby saving money by saving time in turn increasing turnover. JIT in the West Although JIT has been considered as the Japanese brainchild, one should not forget Ford's version of JIT that was present in its assembly line way back in 1930s, well before the Japanese concept came into existence. Many have doubted so far whether it is equally applicable in the Western manufacturing companies but the truth is that JIT production is spreading like an epidemic not only throughout the corporate America but also throughout other Western countries. JIT is no longer thought of as a Japanese manufacturing technique as it was before. Manufacturers in the west are increasingly under pressure to make them more competitive, effective and efficient. The threat from the Global manufacturers exporting products and components into the West is now well established and having dyer consequences on the local manufacturers. In the early 90s the MIT commission in US observed that [11]: A large continental economy like the United States will not be able to function primarily as a producer of services in the foreseeable future. One reason is that it would have to rely on exports of services to pay for its imports, and this does not seem realistic. In 1987 gross US exports of services, excluding income from overseas investments and overseas sales of government services, were worth $57 billion, whereas the total value of goods and services imported into the US was about $55 billion. --, The US thus has no choice but to continue competing in the world market for manufactures. The ultimate scale of American manufacturing is not known, but it will not be trivial. The important question is not whether the US will have a manufacturing industry but whether it will compete as a low-wage manufacturer or as a high productivity manufacturer.

Conclusion

In Kaizen, JIT is a collection of concepts and techniques for improving productivity [12]. JIT is a process aimed at increasing value-added and eliminating waste by providing the environment to perfect and simplify the processes. Quality circles within the team framework decentralise responsibility for improving processes LEAN MANUFACTURING: Lean Manufacturing is a manufacturing system and philosophy that was developed by Toyota and has its roots in JIT. Lean manufacturing meshes today's information technology with Toyota's much-lauded JIT approach, which has been adopted by many manufacturers. Lean manufacturing means to apply the JIT concept to meet the customer demands efficiently and cost effectively. But lean manufacturing goes beyond JIT; it strives to reduce inventory through better communication about production processes and their inherent problems and by tapping into the knowledge of floor personnel to make them part of the solution. It is a philosophy of continuously reducing waste in all forms. It is all about doing more, more with less time, less inventory, space and money. JIT became Lean Manufacturing when it was recognised that parts arriving only when required and only in the quantities required is only a part of the story [12]. Lean manufacturing, in its simplest form, is the systematic elimination of the seven wastes: waste due to overproduction, waiting, transportation, inventory, motion, over-processing and defective units and the implementation of the concepts of JIT. Basic Tenets of Lean Manufacturing: * Customers can have what they want, when they want it without a penalty. * Improvement is always possible and necessary. * Customers are the reason for existence, and they must always have a perfect product or service. * All buffers are wasteful and need to be eliminated. Lean Manufacturing Strategy: * Know customers and their needs, identify value-added activities and functions. * Focus all the businesses' processes around the value stream of activities. * Align the company to the needs of customers. * Activities that take time, resources and space but do not to the customer's requirement are non-value added and must be reduced or eliminated. * Establish performance measurements in all aspects of the value stream.

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