Coordination in improvements at manufacturing plants and its effect on improvement capabilities

Yuji Yamamoto, Shumpei Iwao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The main focus of this paper is how a manufacturing organization can secure the capabilities of effectively executing a series of improvements of various sizes and innovativeness from small to large and incremental to more radical at the manufacturing plant, so that the speed of improvement as a whole at the plant can be kept high. A recent study on a Toyota plant in Japan has shown that a group of production engineers located at the plant plays an important role in ensuring the mentioned kind of capabilities. Those engineers are considered trusted experts in improvement of various sizes and innovativeness. They also coordinate those improvements so that the speed of improvement at the plant level can be kept high. This study raises a question of how other manufacturing companies do to ensure these capabilities, given that the group of the production engineers playing the role is likely a specific organization design to this specific company. For the question, three manufacturing plants producing vehicles in Swedish are studied. The paper discusses implications drawn from a cross-case analysis of those plants including the Toyota plant, in terms of the main focus of this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1573
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event29th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, FAIM 2019 - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 2019 Jun 242019 Jun 28


  • Improvement
  • Innovation
  • Lean production
  • Organizational capability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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