Page 1: Introduction
This case study focuses on the way in which Jaguar, one of the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers, has employed lean manufacturing processes. This underpins the success of the new Jaguar S-Type production line at its Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham.
Jaguar is part of the Ford Group. Ford has for a number of years been improving its production methods, particularly by introducing manufacturing methods developed in Japanese industry. This includes lean manufacturing, a system pioneered at the Castle Bromwich factory. The system will be integrated into Ford’s Halewood factory prior to the production of the new Jaguar X400. Ford workers there will be developing a Jaguar motorcar, therefore the skills developed at Castle Bromwich need to be successful at Halewood.
Lean manufacturing is the process of eliminating waste in production in order to guarantee quality and maximise efficiency. Lean production involves the standardisation of work processes to cut out waste. The standard is the best identified method of operation at a particular moment in time and one that will be continuously monitored and improved by the individual operator.
The key to lean production is to identify which processes in the organisation of production add value to the production process. Processes which do not can then be reduced or eliminated so that labour and machinery can focus on added value activities. This does not mean that production line workers and machinery have to work harder - rather they need to be able to work ‘smarter’.