The Robots of Rural Brazil

Posted 15 May 2009 at 13:26 UTC by Rog-a-matic Share This

Where is Ford's most automated assembly plant? Detroit? Western Europe? China? How about rural Cama├žari Brazil. Workers use to producing coco and rubber are now working along side of robots to create Ford's fuel-efficient Focus and EcoSport models. The plant is also super flexible and can produce five different models at the same time as under-bodies ride along floor-embedded tracks and workers and robots add components. Another interesting twist is that suppliers work under the same roof providing subcomponents on demand - apparently the UAW union wasn't keen on these concepts in the US. The result is one of the leanest, most automated, and most efficient factories in the world.

Could be leaner, posted 17 May 2009 at 17:44 UTC by motters » (Master)

This may be one of the leanest factories in the world, but it still looks like there's quite a bit of human labour needed. I've seen much leaner than this, although not in the automotive sector.

In recent times we've seen the lean manufacturing methodology stall, since it relies upon carrying little or no stock and having suppliers deliver just in time. When the economy gets rocky suppliers don't always deliver so reliably (or at all in some cases), so the whole process becomes much less efficient.

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