Less is MORE

Take one stripped-out full-size van, a satellite assembly plant, a union workforce, and more electronics than went to the moon, and what do you get? The largest second-stage manufacturing project in the industry, and an entrée into the booming aftermarket for both GM and Lear.

Inside JCI Northwood

Here's a look at a trend in interiors: providing complete, tested, in-sequence cockpits rather than just instrument panels. And Johnson Controls is building them just-in-time for the Jeep Liberty.

BMW Attacks!

Here's how BMW Manufacturing is making sure that its customers get their cars when they want them. It's through the use of "attack teams" on the assembly line.

A Fast Approach to Coating

If you heard that something called "Cold Spray" was originally developed at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Siberia you might think that we are talking really cold.

Avantime: Not Mainstream

The French automaker Renault is one of the past masters at creating market segments that others did not know existed.

Aero Meets Auto

Here's how Ford is taking technology pioneered by the aircraft industry to help design and engineer better cars. And so far as the Ford researchers know, they are the first in the auto industry to be doing it.

The Current State of QUALITY at Honda and Toyota

When you think about the consistency with which the people at both Honda and Toyota turn out high-quality vehicles, you begin to wonder whether there isn't something in the water... Which, we've discovered, is not the case. What they are doing is reconfiguring plant processes, installing more accurate equipment, strengthening the communication between the design and manufacturing staffs, working to improve supplied parts, and relentlessly emphasizing the centrality of the concepts "trust" and "respect."

Lean Even in the Lab

Yes, here is still another piece in what seems to be an endless praise of an automotive supplier that is genuinely serious about being lean in all ways. Hey, we can't help it if this is an exemplary outfit...

What You Should Know About Linux (and Why It Matters)

Linux is just another operating system, so what's the big deal? Reduced cost and faster time-to-market—these are some of the many benefits that are making Linux the fastest growing operating system in the world now and, many predict, for years to come.



When your back is against the wall, playing it safe isn't an option.

In Praise of Memos

Properly used, the memo can be a powerful communications tool.

For Robust Products

We want to do what we can to provide all of the people involved in the design and development of the products and the processes find out about the latest tools and techniques available to them.

Conspiracy Theory

June was a good month for General Motors' public relations staff.

Aftermarket Inefficiencies

Eclipsed by the production and sales of new vehicles is the industry's huge aftermarket business.

Toys As Models

Fixed frameworks, no matter how enlightened, will become obsolete with time, and restrict the applicability of systems they are meant to enable.