August Event Countdown:


Mixed Model Line Design Workshop

Hosted at Toyota Material Handling August 6-8, 2024 in Columbus, Indiana

We are delighted to announce the Mixed Model Line Design workshop hosted by Toyota Material Handling and presented by Leonardo Group Americas. The Mixed Model Line Design workshop will be held on August 6-8. Click the link below for registration and price or scroll down to find out more!

Mixed Model Manufacturing

Mixed Model Line Design is a step-by-step methodology for designing high-mix production lines or value streams. It starts with understanding which products and product volumes are going to be produced, the documentation of the processes required to build each one, the capturing of reasonable work times, and the design of flow lines that link and balance the work flow from start to completion.

The result is a production line that can manufacture a large number of different products and options, with high efficiency and quality. We would go so far as to claim that this design, following the Mixed Model methodology, would be unbeatable in performance.

The tools of Mixed Model Line Design allow the design of lines that can handle inevitable changes in mix and volume, without degrading throughput or productivity. And they avoid the need for batching models, and for extensive and costly line changeovers. In fact, this is how the “big boys” build products. This methodology is being used by manufacturing leaders like Toyota, John Deere, Hitachi, Ingersoll Rand, The Boeing Group, and many others. You can learn it too.

"Very well organized. Good content distribution. Good sequencing. I see a lot of value in practical hands-on examples and exercises."
Creation Technologies
"The class was a great introduction in line design. It was incredibly thorough. I will recommend this class to my peers."
W Machine Works
"Very different way to look at Takt time!! I've always heard Takt for product. Takt for process opens up a whole new world of possibilities."
Henny Penny

About Toyota Material Handling

This workshop includes factory tours of Toyota Material Handling (TMH), the #1 manufacturer of fork trucks in North America and winner of Assembly Magazine’s Plant of the Year Award. Here’s what Assembly Magazine had to say about Toyota Material Handling.

Toyota has long been regarded as the gold standard for Lean manufacturing. TMH, located in Columbus, Indiana, is an especially valuable example of Mixed Model Manufacturing since the number of base models and level of customization far exceeds what is seen in the automotive sector. The two factory tours included in this workshop will dramatically support what you will learn in the classroom, and confirm the power and flexibility of Lean Mixed Model Design. 

Toyota experts will also spend time during the workshop to answer any Toyota-specific questions that may come up during the tours or in the classroom.

Workshop Agenda

Day 1

A roadmap is a form of Standard Work for line design. This will give you the ability to improve your line design approach over time, moving towards perfection.

Mixing products has a host of advantages including better lead times, increased flexibility, more efficient use of floor space, and leveled product volumes.

As you define processes, identifying and documenting all those resources is strongly recommended, as you will be calculating the number of all those resources when it comes time to design the line.

One Process Flow Diagram does not provide enough information to make well-informed decisions on the whole line, so you must find a way to extract applicable information.

For your Mixed Model line, Takt is the line’s formulated production rate. This rate is calculated and is a design parameter for the line.

How much time do operators actually spend working? This is an important factor for accurate calculations.

Day 2

Begin the day with an in-depth tour of one of North America’s best factories! This tour will be led by Toyota managers.

We’ll also teach you how to create and use Standard Work Definitions based on the format we’ve polished over 20+ years of Lean consulting experience.

A process may have more than one type of resource associated with it. It is very common for a process to require Labor resources as well as Machine resources.

How do you calculate the number of necessary workstations? The resource calculation is your starting point for this step, but you need to know how to interpret the calculations.

By allowing an extra unit, an IPK provides one Takt Time of buffer. This will help to smooth out the imbalances that result from varying human work pace, and from the variable work content of different products.

Machines should be integrated directly into your line design as much as possible, but there are some challenges that you might need to overcome when dealing with machine resources.

Different tools apply to different situations, and the relocation of work applies primarily to labor-driven processes. In this lesson we will cover when and how to use six balancing tools: Eliminate Waste, Relocate Work, In-Process Kanbans, Add Resources, Time Plus Inventory, and Sequencing.

Day 3

On the second tour students will have a chance to complete the experience by getting a close look at the material delivery systems. Your will also visit the Obeya or “Adrenaline” Room where company leaders meet daily to review operations.

Our goal in this lesson is to calculate the optimum batch size that the machine has to build, in order to overcome changeovers and not build up too much inventory.

This is your chance to figure out how the underpinnings of your line will work. How is it going to look? A Straight line? Bend at workstation 4? U-Shaped maybe? If there are batch processes, how would those operate in this line?

As a line designer, you have a long list of things to consider now. There will be equipment, facilities, tools, fixtures, pilot runs, tweak this, tweak that, and then tweak them both again.

What data do you need to collect to build an accurate Simulation Model?

Our goal at the end of the workshop is that every company will have an action plan for an immediate improvement at their home factory.

What can you do to make the greatest improvements at your factory going forward?

Why Mixed Model Line Design

30%+ Boost in Productivity

Strict adherence to Standard Work, and the ability of cross-trained workers to "flex" will dramatically increase productivity.

Smooth Production Volumes

Eliminate large swings in daily volumes by leveling your order backlog. Smooth variation in work content through optimum production sequencing and zero changeover time.

Higher Operator Engagement

Build a culture of continuous improvement, and focus like a laser on rooting out waste and defects.

Increase Flexibility

Customer demand can vary daily and can be met smoothly, without changing line balance, operator certification, or material delivery systems. Vary output if needed with no line design changes.

Shorten Lead Time

Build a "river system" of work and material flow, and eliminate delays by directly connecting processes. Include outside suppliers!

Free up Floor Space

Your most expensive factory real estate can be liberated through physically linking work and optimizing material quantities and storage.

Who Should Participate?

This workshop is for anyone responsible for designing, implementing, or managing a Mixed Model production line based on Lean principles. We encourage Material Flow professionals to also attend, to better understand their role in supporting a Mixed Model line.

  • Manufacturing Engineers
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Managers
  • Production Team Leaders
  • Production Supervisors
  • Material Flow Professionals
  • Supply-Chain Professionals
The Toyota factory tours were of high value. Likewise excellent coverage of Mixed Model of the most important Lean subjects there is! I really enjoyed it, Richard. Very, very beneficial.
Bruce Smythe
President INTERIM Executive Management

Participants in the Mixed Model Line Design Workshop hosted at Toyota will also receive a 1-year membership in the Lean Design Studio, a $500 value. Your membership is a powerful way to sustain and expand the skills developed during this event. Here is what is included in the Studio: