The notion of just-in-time delivery systems, born in the 1960s as the brainchild of Toyota's Taiichi Ohno and known as the Toyota Production System, was adopted by other Japanese manufacturers in the early 1970s and later spread to the U.S. in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The inventory management philosophy brought products and raw materials into stock only when needed, providing cost savings by reducing capital tied up in inventory, as well as storage space for those parts.
Though the JIT procedures changed over time with new technology, the focus remained the same — to reduce the risk of a business getting stuck with obsolete parts when market demand changed.
Continuing the evolution of JIT delivery, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in February introduced its IntelliStok system, part of the company's Advanced Delivery portfolio. IntelliStok initially is being launched in the U.S. and Canada, "available to all companies interested in automating their inventory management processes," according to Will Bacon, ServicePlus segment manager for Trelleborg Sealing Systems, a maker of plastic and rubber automotive seals. The patent-pending program could be launched in other regional global markets in the near future, he said.
"Management of the parts needed to produce products is often a significant pain point for manufacturers," Bacon said. "To help alleviate that pain point and fully automate the inventory management process, the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Digital Solutions and Internet of Things team and ServicePlus team joined forces to develop IntelliStok."