The Latest Words on the Toyota Production System

The Latest Words on the Toyota Production System

Made-to-Order Lean: Excelling in a High-Mix, Low-Volume EnvironmentBy Greg Lane, Productivity Press, 2007, 209 pages, $50

TPS succeeds in job shops? Yes, even though the most cited achievements of the Toyota Production System (TPS) are often those of large volume automotive plants

That's even how author Greg Lane's learning curve started. Toyota-trained for the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) joint venture with General Motors, Lane eventually went on to implement TPS in his own machining job shop. His assumption throughout the book is that the reader either builds to order or assembles to order and therefore rarely has influence on the production lot size.

Lane's book is aimed squarely at companies that remanufacture or repair products. His emphasis is on eliminating non-value added activities (those activities that do not actually work on and transform the product), and instituting improvements on the most repetitive jobs -- a strategy that gives the reader more time to produce low-volume work or one-offs.

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