Mass Production

Large-scale, generally very standardized manufacturing practice with high-volume production and output.

Comments: Those companies engaged in “Mass Production” today are in serious trouble if they do not implement Lean Manufacturing techniques.

Not long ago warehouses full of inventory were considered assets. Today we recognize the waste inherent in carrying large inventories.

Example: To use an extreme example, if your company produces three types of automobiles “A”, “B”, and “C” and you want to “Mass Produce” for maximum efficiency then you might schedule your plant to build type “A” cars during the first 4 months of the year, type “B” cars during the second 4 months, and type “C” cars during the final 4 months of the year. This would limit costly changeovers and downtime from switching models so often.

The problem is self-evident as the Lead-Time for any particular car is 1 – 4 months if it is “in season” and up to 12 months if the season just barely ended for the type of car you want to purchase.

Flexible Lean plants can make all three types of cars anytime and during any season.