There are various types of production lines for manufacturing different sizes, weights, shapes and production volumes of products in the Japanese precast concrete industry. Since the infrastructure in Japan is almost fully furnished, production of precast concrete goods has been moving for some time from the large-lot production of narrow ranges of products to the small-lot production of wider-ranging prod ucts. The market for precast concrete blocks designed with complex shapes, taking into consideration the rich natural environmental function, has grown in recent years. It has become a business challenge to produce this kind of the product efficiently with short lead times. In this issue, an effective production system called FMS (Flexible Manufacturing System) will be presented.
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