"Canon is also looking to boost productivity. Already, the company has seen great gains from "cell assembly," where small teams build products from start to finish rather than each worker repeatedly performing a single task on a long assembly line. Canon now has no assembly lines; it ditched the last of its 20 kilometers of conveyor belts in 2002, when a line making ink-jet printers in Thailand was shut down."Em 2010 no postal "Para quem se queixa da China... (parte IV)" escrevi:
""In the 21st century industry, all successful strategies rely on speed-to-market. Speed-to-market, in turn, can operate only where there exists trust, cooperation and collaboration between customer and supplier. To achieve this, we must change the very nature of our industry strategies." (Moi ici: e as fábricas conseguem guarnecer-se de talento para falarem como parceiros com as marcas e não como recebedoras de encomendas? E os fabricantes de máquinas conseguem agarrar a oportunidade de desenhar as máquinas que permitirão trabalhar com estas séries e frequências? E o lean aqui não será de muito uso, estamos a falar de uma nova organização da produção..."Agora, passados estes anos todos:
"The past three decades have witnessed waves of offshoring by manufacturers in developed countries pursuing low-cost sources of production. Companies like Canon and Sony provide exceptions to the popular offshoring trend. Recognizing that their markets required responsiveness that extended supply chains could not provide, these companies pioneered a production system known as seru that has made it possible to manufacture competitively and profitably in Japan.
Producing locally has then strengthened their capacity to innovate. In ensuing years, hundreds of Japanese companies, especially electronics makers, have adopted seru, touting impressive benefits. The seru experience provides a useful lens for understanding how manufacturing can be competitive in a high-cost economy.
The seru production system is a type of cellular manufacturing that is distinguished first by the cells being configurable rather than fixed; and second by its use of cells for assembly, packaging, and testing rather than fabrication alone. Seru is defined by its prioritization of responsiveness over cost reduction in setting the firm's operations strategy.
Seru was developed to cope with high demand volatility and short product life cycles. Innovative manufacturing firms face the challenge of being flexible enough to handle significant process and environment variabilities, yet efficient enough to produce at a competitive cost. A considerable literature suggests that efficient production is best achieved through lean manufacturing, which typically seeks to reduce buffers and to eliminate demand volatility.
Interestingly, seru was explicitly developed as an alternative to the Toyota Production System (the precursor to lean). The developer of the seru concept - an expert in the Toyota Production System - concluded that implementing the Toyota Production System would not be appropriate in an innovative industry where the primary objective is to respond to demand volatility and fast product development cycles. Rather than adding agility to leanness ... seru begins with the objective of responsiveness: Seru's originators sought to achieve a smooth flow of a wide variety of products and volumes while using resources frugally."
Trechos retirados de "Lessons from seru production on manufacturing competitively in a high cost environment" publicado pelo Journal of Operations Management, 49-51 (2017) 67-76.