Qingdao, China – At the 2016 China Rubber Conference in Qingdao this March, industry and academic representatives urged companies in the rubber sector to adopt lead production for more efficient manufacturing.
China is going through a similar growth curve experienced by Japan, and lean production, a methodology derived from the just-in-time production system of Japan’s Toyota and broadened into the elimination of any waste in a manufacturing system, could help Chinese companies’ transformation towards Industry 4.0, said chairman of the Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineering Qi Ershi.
“China currently only has one tenth of Japan’s production efficiency,” said Qi during his speech at the conference.
“Industry 4.0 is not just replacing old equipment with new ones – it’s a combination of upgrades in technology as well as management,” he added
Designing machinery layout based on the manufacturing process is one way to improve efficiency, Qi introduced with an example – just by reorganizing the layout of a workshop, such as putting three beam welding machines in a circle instead of a straight line, operators can walk 1,000 metres less each day and production per shift was raised by 38 percent.
High inventory, commonly seen among Chinese manufacturers, also add to the costs, Qi pointed out.
In just-in-time production, the manufacturing line from raw materials to end products is divided into several sections, and each section only makes enough items to supplement what’s taken from the next section.