Seru production system: Assembly cells implementation in a house appliance factory


  • Jonathas Beber Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)


Continuous flow, One-piece-flow, Assembly line


The assembly cells production systems (seru) has attracted considerable attention due to its potential gains, thus, through a practical application in a house appliance factory, the present work aims to present the change from an assembly line system to assembly cells, applied in the stove production process, discussing aspects of its implementation as well as the results and difficulties encountered. The research was able to show significant gains with the adoption of the assembly cells, measured in the increase of productivity, decrease of occupied area, improvement in the quality and polyvalence of the collaborators. However, as determinants of the success of such an application, we can mention the definition of a well-oriented multifunctional team, detailed planning of implementation, sponsorship and involvement of the leadership, training focused on the needs and development of the people, the development of leaders of work teams, and the construction of an innovative supply system. Finally, the present research contributes to the discussion of issues related to assembly cells (seru), their relationship with lean thinking and a real case of application.


Hallgren, M., Olhager, J. (2009). Lean and agile manufacturing: external and internal drivers and performance outcomes. Int. J. Operations Production Management. 29 (10), 976-999.

Hasegawa, K., Fukuta, Y., Saito, M. (2009). A study on the workload in seru production (in Japanese). The Japanese Journal of Ergonomics 45, 4, 219–225.

Isa K, Tsuru T. (2002). Cell production innovation and workplace in Japan: toward a new model for Japanese manufacturing? Industrial Relations 41(4): 548–78.

Iwamuro, H. (2004). An Easy Book About Seru Production (in Japanese). Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Tokyo.

Kaku, Ikou. (2016). A fundamental positive investigation into Japanese seru production systems. IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) - Papers on line, 337–342.

Liu, C.G.; Lian, J.; Li, W.J.; Yin, Y., (2010). Seru seisan – an innovation of the production management model in Japan. Asian Journal of Technology Innovation; 18, 2, 89–113.

Liu, C.G.; Lian, J.; Li, W.J.; Yin, Y., (2012). Reconfiguration of assembly systems: From Conveyor assembly to serus. Journal of Manufacturing Systems 31, 312– 325.

Liu, C.G., Stecke, K.E., Lian, J., Yin, Y. (2014). An implementation framework for seru production. International Transactions in Operational Research. 21 (1), 1e19.

Miyake, D. I. (2006). The shift from belt conveyor line to work-cell based assembly system to cope with increasing demand variation and fluctuation in the Japanese electronics industries. Automotive Technology and Management, 6(4):419–39.

Narasimhan, R., Swink, M., Kim, S.W. (2006). Disentangling leanness and agility: an empirical investigation. Journal Operations Management. 24 (5), 440e457.

Rother, Mike; Harris, Rick. Criando Fluxo Contínuo: um guia de ação para gerentes, engenheiros e associados da produção. São Paulo: Lean Institute do Brasil, 2002.

Sakazume, Y. (2006). Conditions for successful implementation of assembly cells. Industrial Engineering and Management Systems 5, 2, 67–73.

Shah, R., Ward, P.T. (2007). Defining and developing measures of lean production. Journal Operations Management. 25 (4), 785e805.

Stecke, K.E., Yin, Y., Kaku, I., Murase, Y. (2012). Seru: the organizational extension of JIT for a super-talent factory. International Journal of Strategic Decision Sciences 3, 1, 106–119.

Suzuki, Y. (2004) Structure of the Japanese production system: elusiveness and reality. Asian Business & Management, v.3, p.201-219.

Wemmerlöv, U., Johnson, D.J. (1997). Cellular manufacturing at 46 user plants: implementation experiences and performance improvements. International Journal of Production Research 35, 1, 29–49.

Yagyuu, S. (2003). Synchronized Seru Production Mode: Beginning from One (in Japanese). NikkanKogyo Shimbun, Tokyo.

Yin, Y., Kaku, I., Stecke, K.E. (2008). The evolution of seru production systems throughout Canon. Operations Management Education Review 2, 27–40.

Yin, Y.; Stecke, K.E.; Swink, M.; Kaku, I. (2017). Journal of Operations Management 49-51, 67-76.