The application of Just-In-Time techniques to small to medium sized manufacturing companies

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Just-In-Time (JIT) Production evolved in Japan as a result-of the need to increase both productivity and manufacturing flexibility. It was initially applied by the large, repetitive manufacturing companies, but was soon adopted by the manufacturer. JIT has only relatively recently found its way into Western manufacturing industries. JIT aims to only produce the products that a customer requires, and at a rate which will just satisfy demand. Organizations run under JIT should produce perfect quality products with minimum lead time There should be little manufacturing waste, and the personal development of people should be encouraged. There are a number of techniques which enable these requirements to be met. Workstation setup times must be reduced. The establishment of a preventive maintenance programme helps increase machine availability and process capability. Employees should be trained to operate as many machines as possible, thus increasing their flexibility. Mutually beneficial deals can be arranged with suppliers for the Just-In-Time delivery of purchased parts. And finally, a pull system should be installed. All of these measures aim at reducing waste and increasing plant flexibility and productivity. Although the understanding of the principles behind JIT is simple; its application in practice is difficult. To compound the problem, certain aspects of JIT tend to be more difficult for the small than the large manufacturer to apply. Yet it is necessary to go this route if industrial productivity in this sector is to be improved. In order to determine which aspects of JIT Production are the most difficult for the small manufacturer to apply, and in order to be able to set out general guidelines for the organization wanting to implement JIT Production, the redesign of a press shop in a small manufacturing plant was undertaken. From this a number of significant points emerged.

Bibliography: leaves 82-84.