Agile production began as a business concept but has turned into a new form of manufacturing that may change the production world in the future. Lean manufacturing once dominated production lines but it now has a new opponent that is challenging traditional manufacturing once characterized by high order quantities, capacity, and inventory.
Agile manufacturing is the processes, tools, and training needed to react swiftly to customer needs and changes in the market while still being able to control cost and quality. It involves strategy for incorporating velocity and flexibility with a make-to-order or configure-to-order production process. The ideal for agile in production is to have marginal changeover time and interruptions. It also includes a low volume of products with high flexibility for customization.
Success and Benefits:
Agile manufacturing is most successful in environments where specialization, customization, and configuration have a competitive edge. The key to agile production is customer satisfaction. This is achieved through producing products with speed and versatility while meeting customer needs.
With production agile success comes several benefits which include:
- Low cost
- High quality
- Low inventory
- Short lead time