Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has debuted a pioneering mass-production automobile assembly process that allows the main line to incorporate a flowing cell production system reducing the workload by 10-percent while increasing efficiency by 10-percent.
Called the ARC Line, it differs from a conventional production in various ways. Instead of having vehicles move along a conveyor, passing by technicians tasked with a single process like installing a part or component, the ARC Line allows 'one production associate takes charge of a broader range of production processes and installs multiple parts.'
The ARC Line's innovative process starts with an ARC unit that's loaded on a conveyor carrying one vehicle body, a complete set of parts to be installed to the vehicle and four technicians who do the work on assembling the vehicle as it moves along the line.
This process removes 'incidental movements' by technicians like 'selecting the proper parts for the specifications of the next vehicle body coming down the line and installing them while walking along with the vehicle body', which speeds up the task of assembling the vehicle significantly.
Aside from higher efficiency, the additional tasks give technicians broader knowledge of Honda products, which in turns enhances their skills while also allowing them to be proficient enough to provide critical feedback to the automaker's development team.
The ARC Line was introduced to Honda's new Prachinburi Plant in Thailand and it became operational in March 2016.