Just In Time vs Synchronous Manufacturing

In manufacturing, raw materials are procured from suppliers, processed through the manufacturing facility, and distributed to customers. While these steps describe nearly every manufacturing scenario, there are some nuances that differentiate manufacturing processes. Two common manufacturing systems are synchronous and Just in Time (JIT).

There are many similarities between synchronous and JIT manufacturing as both methods are “lean manufacturing” systems that focus on eliminating waste, namely by decreasing unnecessary inventory that does not add value. Additionally, a key aspect of both systems is reducing the time between order placement and product delivery. The following explains these two systems in more detail and compares JIT versus synchronous manufacturing.

What is Synchronous Manufacturing?

As the name implies, synchronous manufacturing focuses on the entire manufacturing process working together to deliver the desired manufacturing objectives. Resources and processes are coordinated to work in harmony and are interdependent. Efficient use of resources is key to a successful synchronous manufacturing process. Metrics are often measured based on total system performance as opposed to individual unit or equipment contributions – with the goal being to optimize performance across the entire system.

Similar to other lean manufacturing practices, synchronous manufacturing aims to reduce waste in order to decrease cost and cut time to market. Synchronous systems use a first-in, first-out approach where raw materials are processed into finished products in the order that orders are placed. Production is based on actual demand and orders placed instead of forecasted future demand. For this reason, inventory is closely managed and is an area of waste that is continuously targeted for improvement. Optimal storage and inventory are some of the key benefits of synchronous systems as manufacturers are able to significantly reduce operations costs.

What is Just in Time Manufacturing?

Just-in-time production focuses on sourcing raw materials just in time for production use according to a manufacturing schedule. The key to JIT manufacturing is to have the right materials and products at the right quantity where and when they are needed during the production process – in order to produce only the volume that is required at the right time. The JIT approach reduces the level of inventory required as well as the duration that materials and products are stored before being incorporated into the final product – leading to less inventory sitting on shelves and not adding value, translating to more organized and efficient manufacturing and lower OEM costs.

Similar to synchronous manufacturing, order placement triggers when products should be manufactured. For this reason, raw material and final product levels are kept low to reduce waste on surplus inventory and avoid overproduction. Additional benefits of JIT manufacturing include enhanced production efficiencies and reduced lead times.

JIT systems are very responsive to consumer demand and are often able to accommodate last minute changes to orders. Just in Time processes offer tremendous benefits – but this method demands attention to detail and is often considered more rigid than synchronous methods. Raw materials and other necessary supplies are delivered to the production line only when they are needed. JIT production requires a precisely planned schedule and flow of resources through the manufacturing process. JIT manufacturing leaves little room for errors or delays as the benefits are only realized when suppliers deliver on time and there are no supply chain disruptions. However, when executed properly JIT manufacturing provides benefits that often outweigh synchronous systems.

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Which Manufacturing System is Right for You?

Both JIT and synchronous manufacturing systems work to get products through the production process as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. As a general rule of thumb, JIT systems are often a better fit for more predictable production schedules that do not experience huge swings in volumes and complexity of orders.

So how do OEMs know which manufacturing system is best for their application? The simple answer is that it depends. The right solution depends on the specifics of each manufacturing scenario and neither JIT or synchronous systems should be forced into place without forethought and planning. Additionally, OEMs should partner with a contract manufacturer, like Riverside Integrated Solutions (RIS), that offers a variety of manufacturing solutions across the supply chain, and can clearly layout the pros and cons of various manufacturing options for customers.

RIS Integrated Manufacturing Solutions

RIS is an advanced contract manufacturer providing robust solutions in circuit board assembly, product assembly, kitting, supply chain management, fulfillment, distribution, and reverse logistics. We employ more than 300 people and provide services to OEM’s across the world. We operate 3 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities within the U.S, and as your one-stop-shop we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards, and resources to provide you with support for all of your manufacturing needs.

With all of the contract manufacturing partner choices out there, we know it can be difficult to find someone that not only understands your business model but also has your best intentions in mind. RIS has proven to always be a win-win focused relationship. As your one-stop-shop, we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards, and resources to provide you with support for all of your manufacturing needs. We understand that supply chain management is difficult and very time consuming, so we urge our customers to utilize us in the fullest capacity. Our total-package solutions include:

  • Extensive supply-chain network
  • Dedicated Program Manager
  • Flexible order fulfillment
  • Scalability to meet your needs
  • Purchasing and inventory management
  • Warehousing and drop-shipping capabilities
  • Product assembly: sub-assembly and full product
  • Extensive supply-chain network
  • Dedicated Program Manager
  • Flexible order fulfillment
  • Scalability to meet your needs
  • Purchasing and inventory management
  • Warehousing and drop-shipping capabilities
  • Product assembly: sub-assembly and full product

Contact us today at (507) 523-3220 to see how we can help with your next project, or click here for a quote.

Summary
Just In Time vs Synchronous Manufacturing
Article Name
Just In Time vs Synchronous Manufacturing
Description
A comparison of just in time versus synchronous manufacturing systems that each offer reduced inventory and faster time to market.
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Riverside Integrated Solutions
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