Thailand – The company has developed a mass-production vehicle assembly line which incorporates a 'flowing cell' system. Honda has named this the ARC (Assembly Revolution Cell) Line and introduced it to the new Prachinburi plant.
Contrasting with conventional production in which one worker is responsible for a single installation task as vehicles move along a conveyor, each ARC Line worker takes charge of multiple processes and parts. Four employees board an ARC Unit on a conveyor, with each unit carrying one vehicle body and a full set of parts ready for installation. They complete the assembly process while moving along the production line together with the vehicle. This eliminates unnecessary movement by the workers, increasing efficiency by about 10%. A further advantage is that, by taking charge of more tasks, personnel gain a broader range of production knowledge and skills.
The ARC Units can be added to the line singly, enabling flexible changes to the production layout to accommodate alterations in volume and the addition of other models. Honda expects the system to reduce investment costs worldwide, being less affected by the spatial restrictions of an installation site than a conventional line.
The ARC Line is supported by a PLUTO (Proficiency Learning and Ushering Target for Operator) system for quality maintenance and management support, and a DiSC (Distribution Set-back Control) system for parts supply.