This paper sets out to test the claim made in the lean production literature that the lean production system is universally applicable. The proponents of the lean production model insist that it will supersede both mass production and specialised batch production; but this paper argues that, whilst lean production practices have been adopted and adapted by many producers, batch production has an enduring value from both a work design and a manufacturing process design perspective. The paper reviews the evidence for the persistence of batch production and of craft work methods in both luxury vehicle manufacture and specialty component manufacture and highlights the conditions under which batch production remains viable.
Cooney, R. (2002), "Is “lean” a universal production system? Batch production in the automotive industry", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 22 No. 10, pp. 1130-1147. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570210446342Download as .RIS
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