Discusses production models for final assembly in the automotive industry and also reports on the performance of one final assembly plant representing an innovative production model, namely the Volvo Uddevalla plant. Briefly considers some issues and pitfalls in current production model discourse, and in this connection introduces a distinction between two manufacturing models and broader industrial models. Describes two manufacturing models for final assembly work as namely the “serial flow model” and the “parallel flow model”. Discusses the Japanese “lean production”, sometimes synonymous with “Toyotism”, as an industrial model and the impact of socio‐economic and socio‐cultural contexts on manufacturing models and industrial models. Concludes that the Uddevalla plant highlights the paradox that long cycle time work in parallel flow assembly systems is in fact more efficient than short cycle time work in serial flow systems, provided that suitable technical and administrative preconditions exist. Therefore, the engineering point of view and the Swedish experiences of innovative manufacturing systems should be carefully considered in the current production model discourse.
Engström, T., Jonsson, D. and Medbo, L. (1996), "Production model discourse and experiences from the Swedish automotive industry", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 141-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443579610109893Download as .RIS
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