Planning for quality and productivity
A Nissan case study

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Page 5: Just-in-time technology

With a just-in-time approach, specific vehicles and their components are produced just-in-time to meet the demand for them. Sub-assemblies move into the final assembly plant just as final assemblers are ready to work on them, components arrive just in time to be installed, and so on. In this way, the amount of cash tied up in stocks and in work-in-progress is kept to a minimum, as is the amount of space devoted to costly warehousing rather than to revenue-generating production. Nissan's just-in-time process depends not on human frailty but on machine precision.

Every vehicle is monitored automatically throughout each stage of production. A transponder attached to the chassis leg contains all of a vehicle's production data e.g. its required colour, specification and trim. This triggers sensors at various points along the production line thus updating the records.

When, for example, the transponder sends a message to the production system at a supplying company to produce a seat in a particular colour and trim, this triggers the relevant response and a seat to the required specification is produced. Further along the production line the specifically produced seat arrives to meet the vehicle to which it belongs - just in time.

Nissan | Planning for quality and productivity