Flexible Production – The 21st century working model

Produção Flexível – O modelo de trabalho do século XXI

At the beginning of the 20th century, a production model based on a new capitalist dynamic emerged. The idea was to mass-produce, with large factories that made all kinds of products at low cost. It was a time of rising employment and workers’ rights, but at the same time there was full control over these employees to ensure the production and consumption of goods.

By the 1970s, this system started to collapse and was no longer satisfactory. The end of the post-war “excitement” and the new perspectives of capitalism generate a crisis in the main nations of the world.

At a time marked by struggles between the holders of the means of production and the proletarian mass, the need arises to create a new work organization. It is in this context that the flexible production model, which is part of the Toyota Production System, is developed.


 What is flexible production?

Toyotism surge in a post-war context, aiming at resource optimization. The production line transformed into a series of collective stages, where everyone worked in all phases of the operation.

In this system, employees have the mission to inspect and monitor the quality level of the manufactured products, which resulted in the reduction of defective parts. Gradually, the work became more strategic and the more repetitive and operational activities started to be performed by robots.

All of these changes result in much more flexible production. In other words, the assembly lines are no longer static and can constantly change according to the interests of the moment; after all, workers know the entire operation and know how to make these changes.

Flexible production has the mission of satisfying consumer demands, which is why it is so important in this model to understand what the market needs. Instead of large-scale production, small batch production with varied products created.


The emergence of Just in Time

It was in this context that just in time was developed, a philosophy that proposes to produce only what is necessary, according to market demand. Large stocks – common in the Fordism era – cease to exist, giving way to custom production.

In addition, what are the impacts of this methodology? First, there is an optimization of processes, since they are leaner and less complex. There is also cost reduction, since inventory management is much easier. Finally, there is still the flexibility to change more quickly if market demands change.

Just in time is one of the pillars of Lean Manufacturing, which provides precisely the reduction of waste and better use of resources within the factory.


Technology in flexible production

The intensive use of technology allows the best development of flexible production. To apply just in time efficiently, for example, there are predictive analysis software that makes a demand forecast.

It is much easier to make changes to the production line if the entire process is organized and integrated through digital channels. Rapid communication with employees is also another point that technology can help in the search for greater efficiency in flexible production.


How Novidá can help you

In a world with constant changes, it is essential that any business eliminates waste and is easily adaptable. Thinking about it, Novidá developed a geolocation software that helps you to optimize processes.

Using sensors or smartphones, we monitor the movement of equipment and employees within the plant. This helps to measure employee productivity and makes the PPC much more agile.

To understand more how to increase your company’s efficiency, make an appointment with our experts!

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