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Making Materials Flow (Part 1)

Harris, Rick; Chris Harris; and Earl Wilson
9/15/2003

"Apex Tube Company is a typical discrete parts manufacturer, making fuel lines for cars, trucks, and heavy equipment. Several years ago, Apex responded to pressure from its customers for lower prices, higher quality, more frequent deliveries, and more rapid response to changing demands by taking a hard look at its manufacturing operations."

"One facility — the example used in Creating Continuous Flow — took a dramatic leap to embrace lean production on a plant-wide basis by creating high-performance cells. It also introduced a lean production-control system using kanban to connect a finished-parts market with the pacemaker cells and the pacemaker cells with a purchased-parts market near the receiving dock."

"However, a second Apex facility — which we use for our example in Making Materials Flow — took a more gradual approach to improvement that seems to be typical of current practice in many companies."

Read all of Part 1: Getting Started from Making Materials Flow.

Making Materials Flow
Rick Harris, Chris Harris, and Earl Wilson