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2019 RTL-E (successor to 2010 Dark Cherry Pearl RTL)
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Discussion Starter #1
The New York Times published an account this morning of the effort to get Honda's factory at Sayama up and running again.

Read it here

The summary: they have one part of one line running at this factory, but they are challenged because certain parts suppliers—including a brake pad manufacturer, a rubber fabricator, and a microchip manufacturer—are located in the zone crippled by the earthquake. They also depend on Tokyo Electric for their power, and TE's capacity is down 20 percent because of the damaged nuclear electric plants.
 

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That's how Japan operates--lots of small companies scattered across the entire country. Coordination of all parts coming together is a challenge, but one the Japanese have successfully dealt with. In addition, they invented JIT (Just-in-Time), which means that a major manufacturing plant only keeps a few parts on hand and depends on the suppliers to refill their parts bins "Just-In-Time" before they are empty. Hey it works for them, but is a very alien concept for American manufactuers.

I'm sure that the earthquake, tsunami & power plant failure/leakage has disrupted many industries, not just automotive.
 

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2019 RTL-E (successor to 2010 Dark Cherry Pearl RTL)
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Discussion Starter #3
That's how Japan operates--lots of small companies scattered across the entire country. Coordination of all parts coming together is a challenge, but one the Japanese have successfully dealt with. In addition, they invented JIT (Just-in-Time), which means that a major manufacturing plant only keeps a few parts on hand and depends on the suppliers to refill their parts bins "Just-In-Time" before they are empty. Hey it works for them, but is a very alien concept for American manufactuers.

I'm sure that the earthquake, tsunami & power plant failure/leakage has disrupted many industries, not just automotive.
Yes, indeed. JIT works based on extensive pre-planning, real-time inventory communication, and the presumption of known uptime/downtime cycles. It is highly efficient when all factors can be known and accounted for.

Unplanned disruptions can be devastating; thus the reality that a single missing part can stop an entire production line.
 
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