Old Model T Production Line Video
A bit of manufacturing and Lean history here…. since Henry Ford’s writings and practices helped influence Toyota and the development of the Toyota Production System. Many of Henry Ford’s methods seem “Lean” although the company got away from those practices over time (as Jim Womack mentioned in the BBC audio I posted on Monday).
In this video, they talk about “mass production” — but you see great flow and production flexibility. Many different body styles, variations of the Model T, are seen coming off the line in apparent “ABCABD” type heijunka sequencing (or the video is just staged that way). Is this Lean? There appeared to be no “batching” of the production (“AAABBBCCDD”).
You also see video of Henry Ford himself having to give a door a little push as the narrator says “it hadn’t gone through final assembly quality control yet” — not Lean! Where was the built-in quality?
There’s also some amazing video of Model T’s basically off-roading like a Range Rover! Since roads and driving conditions were horrible in that day, the Model T had to be designed accordingly for those conditions.
Anyway, it’s sort of a neat video: