Bringing the Toyota Production System into the Digital Age
The inspiration for Equation1 Vortex™ is from the now famous just-in-time replenishment system, called Kanban at Toyota, developed by Taiichi Ohno. This system transformed the flow of parts within the supply system on a day-to-day basis. Parts would be produced at up-stream steps only if there was demand at the next down-stream step. As a container carrying parts to the next step was depleted, it was sent back to the previous up-stream step as a signal to produce more parts.
The results were extraordinary, enabling Toyota to increase productivity, improve quality, and respond to market changes while utilizing less factory space.
But we experienced during years of operations consulting experience in North America and Europe that non-repetitive manufacturers struggled, mostly unsuccessfully to implement this Kanban system. The complexity of their workflows and rapid changing of product mix made Kanban demand-pull impractical. This just-in-time lean production system has not been available to non-repetitive Discrete Manufacturers or to the Semiconductor Fabrication industry, until now with the Equation1 Vortex™ time-based demand-pull, real-time production dispatching software.
It's about time!