Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lean techniques to repair humvees

As reported on NPR, the US Army turned to lean manufacturing techniques, inspired by Toyota, to deal with the large number of war-damaged vehicles that need to be repaired and rebuilt. The repair facility at Red River Army Depot uses a takt time of 16 minutes - producing a completely rebuilt vehicle every 16 minutes, for a total of 32 per day. If that's the true takt time, or course, that would imply that the Army needs exactly 32 rebuilt humvees per day. The NPR story doesn't state if that's the case, but it does say that the vehicles are parked everywhere around the base - let's hope those are the wrecked ones, and not repaired vehicles sitting unused. We all know by now that an inventory of product that isn't being used is muda (waste).

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