Denso, Toyota’s affiliated supplier, said it will start a new global strategy, which includes operating smaller plant lines.
Denso previously announced its plans to invest $1 billion in North American plants, products and research in the following four years, and this new strategy will help the company to accomplish its goal easier. Smaller factory lines means smaller equipment able to multitask, more advanced planning and less material wasted.
“We want to reinvent the way we manufacture,” said David Grimmer, president of Denso Manufacturing Canada Inc. “I’m taking about a radical change.”
The company wants to reduce by half the factory square-footage. The plants’ machineries are expected to be able to manufacture multiple parts and the work stations to take 50 feet of floor space, instead of the current 100 feet. Denso has already made the first changes at the Battle Creek plant, Michigan, but the company plans to cover all its global factories in the next 10 years.
“Less space equals a smaller footprint, less energy consumption, less sub-material and less processing time,” Grimmer said. “That will enable us not to simply survive in the future, but to thrive.”
Grimmer added that the reshaping will be done as the company creates new generations of exiting models or new products.