For decades, automotive engineers have looked to the aerospace industry for new ideas. Back in the 1930s and 1950s, Detroit was inspired by the sleek designs of innovative airplanes such as the Northrop Alpha and the Grumman F4F Wildcat.
This month marks the official celebration of the world’s first moving assembly line. On Oct. 7, 1913, 140 assemblers stationed along a 150-foot chassis line at a Ford Motor Co. plant just north of Detroit stood in place as the work came to them.
Standardization is a key concept behind lean manufacturing. It allows assemblers to reduce variation, increase consistency, cut costs and improve productivity by following a prescribed set of work instructions.
Rochester, NY, is home to several well-known companies, such as Bausch & Lomb, Eastman Kodak and Xerox. It’s also home to cutting-edge electronics manufacturing research, thanks to the Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly (CEMA).
"Watch where you step so you avoid the poisonous snakes!” is not something that’s typically heard when touring an automotive assembly plant. But, Volkswagen AG’s two-year-old Chattanooga, TN, facility is out of the ordinary when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
La-Z-Boy is one of the best-known brands in the residential furniture industry. The company is synonymous for its comfortable reclining chairs. But, La-Z-Boy is also well-known for lean manufacturing and its made-in-the-USA production philosophy.