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  • Continuous flow manufacturing: once a product starts in manufacturing, it does not stop until completed
  • Handled by standing, moving multi-functional team: members cover zone including several operations; know part of adjacent zones to cover for absenteeism, process time variability; members never wait for work, and work never sits idle
  • Eliminates individual pick-ups, disposals at every operation as in single operation focus batch production; reduces SAMs
  • Throughput time equals processing time; quickest response for customer service, make-to-order
  • Line always balanced: optimum efficiency (average 50% productivity improvement versus batch)
  • Team produces one-at-a-time; minimum W-I-P - typically one unit per person except unit(s) left in cycling machine(s)

Greater productivity per person through reduced handling -- the primary portion of process time

  • Eliminates multiple pickups, disposals
  • Reduces bundle, batch handling
  • Ends clerical time on bundles, batches

Line fully balanced at all times -- with proper team performance pay system totally eliminates all off-standard variances, performance fluctuations, work imbalances except bi-weekly team meeting (15-20 minutes) as needed and plant-wide stoppages
Cross-training increases flexibility to handle alternate styles, absenteeism, turnover
TSS clusters (work cells) become "plants within a plant" allowing for style, even color focusing; simpler planning and control; reliable scheduling and measurement; other benefits
Virtually eliminates non-value adding activities which increase cost
Production results in same day completion of units started that day
Eliminates handling of repairs -- fixed in line; improves quality by single-piece flow for immediate defect recognition and correction; better attention to work with constant movement, multiple jobs; team ownership of whole product also aids quality
TSS requires some added equipment but fewer operators for same or even greater production volumes
Equipment cost recovered in productivity gains; benefits savings on direct labor; savings in downtime, maintenance, machine/parts replacement; faster cash flow and reduced carrying costs from inventory reduction; overhead savings by increased output by smaller staff in existing facilities
Fast throughput allows increased manufacturing to order versus forecast; lowering finished goods inventory (particularly high risk SKUs)
Space savings result from reduction in W-I-P, elimination of batches



  • Greater productivity
  • Lower labor costs
  • Lower inventory investment
  • Lower workers' compensation
  • More flexibility on pricing/margins
  • Simpler systems
  • Better space utilization, less space needed
  • Lower cost of quality
  • Higher quality
  • Repairs handled in process without delay
  • More flexibility in handling style changes, small orders
  • Lower turnover, absenteeism
  • Selling tool
  • Balanced production
  • Lower overhead


  • Greater job security
  • Healthier job
  • More satisfying job
  • Enhanced earnings opportunities
  • Better work environment


  • Quicker "just-in-time" delivery
  • Excellent quality
  • Greater customization if required
  • Competitive pricing
  • Reliable supplier

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Daily Production (units) 100 100 0%
Staff Required 30 20 -33.3%
Hours/Product 2.4 1.6 -33.3%
Units/Person/Day 3.3 5.0 +51.50%
Response Time 10 days 2 days -80.0%
Labor Cost with Sharing of Gains $31.52 $24.00 -24%
Hourly Wage With Team Bonus $13.50 $15.00 +11.0%
Work-in-Process (units) 1000 200 -80.0%
Space Required (sq. ft.) 1,800 1,200 -33.3%
Defects/100 units 1.0 0.1 -90.0%

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