Ron Harbour: How Auto Manufacturing Will Evolve

The future of automotive manufacturing is a continuing trend toward greater flexibility produced with fewer resources.

            That’s the view of consultant Ron Harbour, who spoke at the recent Automotive News Manufacturing Conference. And while the thoughts offered by Harbour – head of Harbour Consulting and author of the annual Harbour Report on auto plant productivity – weren’t revolutionary, they help trace where the industry has gone and where it is likely to go.

            In materials prepared for his speech at the conference, Harbour outlined what he called the evolution of the manufacturer/supplier continuum. (I encountered delays in flying to Nashville for the conference, so I arrived near the end of Harbour’s talk and didn’t actually hear all his comments.)

            Harbour looked at production of 1,000 vehicles per day at three points in time: 1987, 2007, and his view of 2027.

            While those 1,000 vehicles might have required a plant of 3.5 million square feet in 1987, the number is down to 2.5 million square feet today. He didn’t try to predict plant size in 20 years.

            But he did note that a 1987 plant was typically one multi-floor building, while today it is three to four separate but close one-story buildings – with a similar configuration likely 20 years from now.

            (By the way, while at the conference I toured the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, which opened about two decades ago. It’s a collection of buildings, though more two-story than one-story. A Nissan speaker at the conference noted that having several buildings increases the number of outside walls and makes it possible for the plant to have about 130 loading docks – which increases the ability to deliver parts exactly where they are needed.)

            While the 1987 plant may have had 3,500 workers, the number is more like 2,500 today, with Harbour predicting it will drop to 1,500 in 2027. And he argued that the number of suppliers, having gone from about 2,500 in 1987 to 500 today will drop to perhaps 100 in another two decades.

            More importantly, the production process will be more flexible, he predicted. A production line could produce only one vehicle in 1987, and perhaps two or three today, but in 20 years one line will produce an infinite number of models, he said.

            Similarly, the product complexity might only have been two models for those 1,000 vehicles in 1987, and perhaps five to 15 today, but that number will also be infinite in 2027, Harbour contends.

            He also stated that modularity, nonexistent in 1987 and somewhat in evidence today, will become part of the basic build philosophy. In addition, Harbour said, part sequencing, which didn’t exist in 1987 and today involves 50 to 100 key parts, will encompass 500 key parts in 20 years.

            Is Harbour right? What are your thoughts?



Hong Zhang said...

The Breitling Aerospace is accretion pilot watch. Its the watch for pilots that acclaim the accent of a watch with gucci replica a complete beat spin. This Breitling watch is in fact a star. It absolutely is afire weight, artificial from titanium.Breitling Bentley Replica are all acclimatized for their precision, but the replica watches Breitling Colt is abnormally acclimatized for arresting challenges. The sturdy, believability is actual important to humans who put their watches by way of the rolex replica mill.One added in a position pilot watch would be the Breitling Windrider. It combines elegance, apish and adeptness in 1 watch that pulls in the account strings of aviators.If youre analytic for a pilot accord delirium, you will ascertain abounding to accepting from at Breitling. If you appear to swiss replica watches seek a diving watch there are in fact scattering of bigger than the Superocean. If you are analytic for the accoutrement on the qualified, again you accept activate them in Breitling watches.Glashtte Age-old has developed the brands age-old abridged watch, Glashtte Age-old Abridged Watch No. 1, central a apprenticed archetypal of just 25 pieces. And this handsome watch will be acutely candid in the Baselworld 2010. Each the chaw and bearings ashamed is acclimatized with hinged lids.

Anonymous said...

Worry is the fear we manufacture; it is a choice. Conversely, true fear is involuntary; it will come and get our attention if necessary. But if a parent or a child feels fear constantly, there is no signal left for when it’s really needed. Thus, the parent who chooses to worry all the time or […]
http://www.8a08.org |

vfarm.info |

www.revista-amauta.com |

http://www.hogrocketgames.com |

http://www.myhousefix.com |

http://www.schmeckts-dir.net |

nyyyhg |

gaters.us |

www.bearcrawlingnation.com |

www.christinemartincoaching.net |

Anonymous said...

Any news about the mod?
http://www.homeschoolersforken.com |

http://www.southtyroltravels.com |

http://www.thetechnologydiet.com |

www.hospitality-cushion.com |

www.paradise-house.com |