Kickstart: Big Brother or lean manufacturing best practices?


Let me ask you a question: How would you like to know that your bosses can see every move you make at your desk or workstation? This can mean they can see when you stop to chat with a passing colleague or slow down to adjust your desk to a standing position.

I ask because Toyota Motor Corp., the automaker whose Toyota Production System for Lean Manufacturing has been adopted around the world, is deploying a system of monitors at its Princeton, Indiana plant that automatically tracks workers’ movements. at their workstation. Workers do not wear trackers. The system developed by Texas-based Invisible AI has software that allows the computer to capture movement of the hands, arms, wrists and body.

As Invisible AI told Larry P. Vellequette in our sister journal Automotive News, the idea is to find and correct production bottlenecks. Currently, a trainer or supervisor may spend little time at an individual workstation and try to spot faults, but the computer system can track movements all day, every shift. Invisible AI points out that the system can also identify movements that could lead to injury.

I enjoy the concept of constant improvements and quick problem solving, but at the same time, I’m glad a computer isn’t watching me.


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