segunda-feira, março 25, 2019

Fábricas flexíveis, fábricas para Mongo

O meu parceiro das conversas oxigenadoras chamou-me a atenção para este artigo "Inside Toyota's Takaoka #2 Line: The Most Flexible Line In The World":
"Ever since the first cars rolled down Ford’s assembly line a little more than 100 years ago, a Gordian knot strangulated carmakers the world over: Assembly lines are fast, but inflexible. After pulling a few strings to get into the Takaoka plant, you will see the Gordian knot become untied.
Why would you want a flexible car plant? Isn’t it enough that the damn thing spits out cars in ever increasing numbers?
Did we just hear “ever increasing numbers?”
Assembly lines are great at building cars in great numbers and at relatively high speed. At the same time, assembly lines abhor change. Assembly lines pretty much have two speeds: On, or off. They hate to go much faster, or much slower, than their rated speed. Try introducing a new car model to the assembly line of old, and you sometimes face months of retooling. When demand for the car increases, customers sometimes must wait months for the long-tailed assembly line beast to catch up. When demand slackens, plants often must be idled. Takaoka is a marvel of production engineering that solves all that, and then some.
“Alright,” you say, “you replaced a robot with a human, but how does this make the line flexible?”...
For other automakers, substantial increases or decreases in capacity often mean building new factories, or idling current ones. At Toyota, it can be done over the weekend. Workers lay down cable trays on a flat shop floor. Instead of a mess of cables, only one fat cable is connected. Where cables must cross the line, a gate shaped cable tray on casters is rolled into place. Platforms are set down left and right to guide motorized dollies for cars in nascent state. Formerly fixed stations are rolled in place down the line, and on Monday, the plant has a completely different capacity than what it was on Friday. In the course of a year, this magical capacity conversion can happen several times."
Bem na senda de "O que protegerá Portugal dos robôs?"

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