Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's so bad with a flow line?

I've got some more to write about the time I spent in Kiev, but it is so amazing how much 3.5 days away can disrupt the flow of life - I am still trying to get on top of things. So until I settle down, I took a couple of minutes to dig this advertisement up in YouTube (no link, you's all know where it's at). I like looking over advertisements since you can find great examples for different things and somebody else payed to get them done at high quality...

Here is a lovely ad from Visa, that manages to explain why the flow line can't handle variation. This is why Henry Ford said his famous "They can have a car in any color they want as long as it is a black Ford Model T" (I may have re-phrased the original), this was not a personal idiosyncrasy, but rather a basic fact of life that the factory he had built to be so efficient as to allow a car for every worker was based on a flow line and could not support any variety greater than 1.

BTW, there is another instance of this clip on YouTube claiming it demonstrated TOC manufacturing. Of course it does not, since TOC (as explained by Dr. Goldratt in "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants") will only advocate a flow line where it can fit, and the way the process is set up in the clip, it can't since not all customers can be served without compromising something (the process or customer satisfaction). Now in this artificial example only a very small change is needed to fix the issue. What would you change here?

Edited to add:
I've been going through my old posts and found this one about the train that never stops. Can you see a difference between the two systems?

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