“Toyota is one of the most visionary car makers with respect to its manufacturing. They continuously and radically evolve and update their production system. Recently I learned about their new “flexible assembly line.” Now, you’ve probably heard about Toyota’s flexible assembly lines producing multiple products on the same line. That is old hat; they’ve done that for thirty years. Their new flexible assembly line involves a completely different aspect of flexibility, with which Toyota surprised me (again). Let me show you …”
Sourced from AllAboutLean
Michel Baudin‘s comments: A must-read post by Christoph Roser for anyone who wants to keep up with new developments in the Toyota Production System.
Toyota is retiring the fabled “andon cord,” the emergency cable strung above assembly lines that came to symbolize the built-in quality of the Toyota Way and was widely copied through the auto industry and beyond.
Michel Baudin‘s comments:
The point of having a cord rather than buttons was that the cord could be pulled from anywhere along the line, whereas buttons require you to be where they are. It is the same reason many buses have cords for passengers to request stops rather than buttons.
Toyota’s rationale for moving to buttons, according to the article, is the desire to clear the overhead space. Another advantage, not stated in the article, is that the alarm from a button is more location-specific than from a cord.
Another reason to use a cord was that you didn’t have to change it when you rearranged the line, whereas relocating buttons required rewiring. But the wireless button technology has made this a moot point.
See on Scoop.it – lean manufacturing