Do JIT Lines Perform Better Than Traditionally Balanced Lines?
Management and Entrepreneurship
The article compares the traditionally balanced and just-in-time lines of production. Over the years, many companies have implemented the just-in-time (JIT) philosophy to assist them in competing on the basis of speed and agility. JIT production lines utilize capacity slack to assist in providing high customer service levels. Whereas line balancing involves dividing a task into equal amounts of time at each of the work stations in order to meet a specified cycle time. The primary objectives are to maximize equipment and labour utilization which minimizes total investment in resources. Higher levels of inventory would be necessary for the JIT line to achieve similar cycle times if the system had less than 20 per cent capacity slack. Once the optimal cycle time is achieved increasing capacity slack will not improve the cycle time performance of the JIT line regardless of the level of inventory in the system. Factors such as the length of the line and desired cycle time, play a key role in determining the optimal amount of capacity slack needed. Still other research is needed which accounts for the cost associated with acquiring and utilizing capacity slack.
International Journal of Operations and Production Management
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