Haitian International Holdings Ltd. has started a moving assembly line for small injection presses at one of its plants in Ningbo, China.
Assembly lines are used in some injection press plants in other parts of the world, including Engel Holding GmbH in Austria. But the concept of a moving assembly line to make injection molding machines is "something quite new" in China, said Helmar Franz, Haitian's executive director and chief strategy officer.
The Haitian setup is not super-modern, but it work wells well, he said. Injection molding machines are in carriages, set on rails. After a certain period of time, an employee uses a forklift to move the set of presses to the next station.
Franz said it's better than the old method of bringing in consultants to reorganize assembly. Instead a moving assembly line "trains the people" who do the direct assembly, he said. If an assembly employee is forced to run after a machine to finish a task, he or she soon will figure out how to work more efficiently.
Franz explained the new assembly line in a May 9 interview at Absolute Haitian Corp.'s new Parma technical center.