Flex Hungary: Launching Production (A)
This case examines design choices in the construction of flow lines. Flow lines are a popular way of arranging production because they are simple and inherently efficient. Equipment or workstations are arranged according to the sequence of steps in which a product is made. Each step consists of a set of tasks that individually are minimum rational work elements. These are combined to form the work assignment associated with the step. The work follows the same sequence of operations as it moves down the line, and the sequence is fixed from batch to batch. The case setting is a production site in Hungary that is starting up the production of a personal beverage maker. Should the team implement a conveyor-paced line in preference to a manual pull system? An analysis of process steps and times gives students an opportunity to debate this question.