Mitsubishi Heavy Industries BrandVoice: Flexible Manufacturing Inspired By Yatai, The Ever-Nimble Japanese Food Stall

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By Johnny Wood Manufacturing today requires the utmost flexibility. At Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - Mahajak Air Conditioners (MACO), a part of MHI Group, the staff achieves this by embracing the concept of “Yatai.” The flexibility of Yatai food stalls has influenced a more dynamic approach to manufacturing. Shutterstock Yatai means “food stalls” in Japanese, but it also describes a system of mobile factory workstations. These stations enable MACO’s factory in Thailand to manufacture innovative air conditioners, the result of responding quickly to the fast-changing global marketplace. Highly flexible production schedules allow teams to ramp up resources when demand spikes or to quickly redeploy them if needed elsewhere. The workstations also make it easy to customize orders or to manufacture several different orders simultaneously.

Watch this short video on the sort of agile manufacturing that’s inspired by Yatai. Related: About the author Johnny Wood has been a journalist for over 15 years working in different parts of the world – Asia, Europe and Middle East. In addition to being an accomplished features writer, he has edited several prestigious lifestyle magazines and corporate publications. more...