Mixed Model Line Design Workshop

Hosted at Toyota Material Handling

The next Mixed Model Line Design workshop will be held at Toyota Material Handling in Columbus Indiana on August 1-3, 2023. Click on the link below for additional information and to register.

What You Will Learn at This Workshop

Mixed Model Line Design is a step-by-step methodology for designing high-mix production lines or value streams. It starts with understanding which products and product volumes are going to be produced, the documentation of the processes required to build each one, the capturing of reasonable work times, and the design of flow lines that link and balance the work flow from start to completion.

The result is a production line that can manufacture a large number of different products and options, with high efficiency and quality. We would go so far as to claim that your design, following this methodology, would be unbeatable.

The tools of Mixed Model Line Design allow the design of lines that can handle inevitable changes in mix and volume, without degrading throughput or productivity. And they avoid the need for batching models, and for extensive and costly line changeovers. In fact, this is how the “big boys” build products. This methodology is being used by manufacturing leaders like Toyota, John Deere, Hitachi, Ingersoll Rand, The Boeing Group, and many others. You can learn it too.


"Very well organized. Good content distribution. Good sequencing. I see a lot of value in practical exercises."
Creation Technologies
"The class was a great introduction in line design. It was incredibly thorough. I will recommend this class to my peers."
W Machine Works
"Very different way to look at Takt time!! I've always heard Takt for product. Takt for process opens up a whole new world of possibilities."
Henny Penny

Why Toyota Material Handling?

This workshop includes factory tours of Toyota Material Handling, the #1 manufacturer of fork trucks in North America and winner of Assembly Magazine’s Plant of the Year Award. Here’s what Assembly Magazine had to say about Toyota Material Handling.

Toyota has long been regarded as the gold standard for Lean manufacturing. You will see many methods that we teach in-action on the factory floor.

Benefits of Line Design

20%+ boost in productivity

Leveled product volumes

Higher level of operator engagement

Increased flexibility in responding to changes in the market

Shorter lead times

Free up floor space, your most expensive manufacturing real estate.

Who Should Participate?

This workshop is for anyone responsible for designing, implementing, or managing a Mixed Model production line based on Lean principles.

  • Manufacturing Engineers
  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Material Professionals
  • Supply-Chain Professionals

Workshop Schedule

Day 1

A roadmap is a form of Standard Work for line design. This will give you the ability to improve your line design approach over time, moving towards perfection.

Mixing products has a host of advantages including better lead times, increased flexibility, more efficient use of floor space, and leveled product volumes.

As you define processes, identifying and documenting all those resources is strongly recommended, as you will be calculating the number of all those resources when it comes time to design the line.

One Process Flow Diagram does not provide enough information to make well-informed decisions on the whole line, so you must find a way to extract applicable information.

For your Mixed Model line, Takt is the line’s formulated production rate. This rate is calculated and is a design parameter for the line.

How much time do operators actually spend working? This is an important factor for accurate calculations.

Day 2

Begin the day with an in-depth tour of one of North America’s best factories! This tour will be led by Toyota managers.

We’ll also teach you how to create and use Standard Work Definitions based on the format we’ve polished over 20+ years of Lean consulting experience.

A process may have more than one type of resource associated with it. It is very common for a process to require Labor resources as well as Machine resources.

How do you calculate the number of necessary workstations? The resource calculation is your starting point for this step, but you need to know how to interpret the calculations.

By allowing an extra unit, an IPK provides one Takt Time of buffer. This will help to smooth out the imbalances that result from varying human work pace, and from the variable work content of different products.

Machines should be integrated directly into your line design as much as possible, but there are some challenges that you might need to overcome when dealing with machine resources.

Different tools apply to different situations, and the relocation of work applies primarily to labor-driven processes. In this lesson we will cover when and how to use six balancing tools: Eliminate Waste, Relocate Work, In-Process Kanbans, Add Resources, Time Plus Inventory, and Sequencing.

Day 3

Our goal in this lesson is to calculate the optimum batch size that the machine has to build, in order to overcome changeovers and not build up too much inventory.

This is your chance to figure out how the underpinnings of your line will work. How is it going to look? A Straight line? Bend at workstation 4? U-Shaped maybe? If there are batch processes, how would those operate in this line?

As a line designer, you have a long list of things to consider now. There will be equipment, facilities, tools, fixtures, pilot runs, tweak this, tweak that, and then tweak them both again.

What data do you need to collect to build an accurate Simulation Model?

Our goal at the end of the workshop is that every company will have an action plan for an immediate improvement at their home factory.

What can you do to make the greatest improvements at your factory going forward?

Related Workshops

Mixed Model Material Flow Workshop

Mixed Model Material Flow

The future of manufacturing belongs to multi-product manufacturing, and an essential aspect of this strategy is the optimization of material delivery.​