The Crusaders of Lean Manufacturing
Originating from a Japanese methodology known as the Toyota Production System, lean manufacturing centers around eliminating waste. By reducing non-value-adding work, overburden and unevenness, systematic problems are exposed. Tools are adapted to different situations and only used where the ideal cannot be achieved.
The main focus of lean manufacturing is to strategically place small stockpiles of inventory around the assembly line to enhance productivity on the factory floor. The system also monitors newly manufactured goods. If impurities are detected the production line stops. This allows detection and repair at the earliest possible stage of production.
Transfer cars play a major role in the lean manufacturing system. Produced by automated guided vehicle manufacturers, transfer cars are small carts/vehicles used in material handling throughout a factory. These carts can either follow a track or use a type of automated guided system. With the aid of transfer cars products can move from varies stages of production easily and efficiently. With transfer cars, it takes minimum investment to maximization production. These carts can be specialized to move a number of objects including palletized goods and large equipment and vehicle bodies.
Automatic guided vehicles play well into the lean manufacturing theme; produce high level of throughput with minimal inventory. Utilizing this system to its full potential can save millions of dollars while still producing quality goods. Lead and set-up times are reduces along with lower equipment expense while maintain an increase in profits. Manufacturers may receive a competitive edge as they will be more responsive to customer demands.