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Variable Takt Principle

Mastering Variance with Limitless Product Individualization

  • Describes how to implement and manage variable rate launching in mixed model assembly line production

  • Presents valuable management insights obtained from a global benchmark application in German industry

  • Includes international case studies from various industries

Part of the book series: Management for Professionals (MANAGPROF)

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eBook USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-87170-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
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  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 1-22
  3. Basics on Takt and Flow: Insights from Practice

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 23-67
  4. Heijunka: Fast like a Tortoise

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 69-90
  5. The Variable Takt

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 91-132
  6. Takt Time Groups in the Variable Takt

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 133-161
  7. Design-for-Takt and the Ideal Flow Assembly

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 163-183
  8. Advanced Concepts in Automotive Manufacturing to Master Variance in Assemblies

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 207-239
  9. Summary and Outlook

    • Peter Bebersdorf, Arnd Huchzermeier
    Pages 241-251
  10. Back Matter

    Pages 253-256

About this book

This book describes how the implementation of variable rate launching in the context of a mixed-model assembly line with unlimited customization flexibility promotes customer-centric production.

Variable rate launching (VRL) – as opposed to fixed rate launching (FRL) – eliminates idle time and utility work in mixed-model assembly lines. Even in the context of limitless customization, which runs the risk of concentrated peak workloads and possible longer assembly lines, a variable takt proves to be more economical than a fixed takt. On the technical side, a fixed takt requires both a healthy balance of process times and optimal scheduling to create feasible production schedules, as using average takt does not allow workers enough time to complete their tasks for more complex products. Because the variable takt relies on similar process times for a given product across the entire line for one product, and all products are given exactly the time they need for assembly, optimal series-sequencing and regular task rescheduling can be eliminated.

This book is intended as a reference guide for experienced executives in manufacturing and academics teaching operational effectiveness for customer-centric production, and makes extensive references to AGCO Fendt’s modern tractor line in Marktoberdorf, Germany. The book also offers application case studies from companies in related industries such as automotive, electronics, and machine tools. The book’s key message is that variation should not be universally eliminated from manufacturing. As such, the book represents a counterpoint to the philosophy advocated by the Toyota Production System. 

Keywords

  • variable takt
  • mixed-model manufacturing and assembly
  • mixed-model assembly lines
  • variable takt times
  • limitless product customization
  • product individualization
  • operational excellence

Authors and Affiliations

  • AGCO, Fendt, Marktoberdorf, Germany

    Peter Bebersdorf

  • WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany

    Arnd Huchzermeier

About the authors

Peter Bebersdorf first gained experience in the mixed-model assembly of highly customized busses and in the application of the lean philosophy through various management positions at Daimler Buses. At AGCO, he is Director Manufacturing of Fendt’s tractor production and developed the VarioTakt, one of the most successful applications of variable takt in combination with classic lean methods. The Fendt factory has been acknowledged by the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Company as digital lighthouse factory for its ability to produce 10 models on a single assembly line. Peter is a graduate engineer (BA) in electrical engineering, holds an MBA and is completing his doctoral thesis at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management.

Arnd Huchzermeier is Chaired Professor in Production Management at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany. Arnd taught at the Booth Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago after earning his PhD from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is, among others, author of books on Industrial Excellence, Management Quality, Bottom-up Strategy Innovation, Supply Chain Finance and Blockchain/DLT. He regularly publishes in leading managerial and academic journals. In 1996, he co-founded with colleagues from INSEAD the Industrial Excellence Award which is presently supported by 15 Top Business Schools in 12 European countries.


Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-87170-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)