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What is 'single-piece-flow' production and how does it compare to 'batch-and-queue' production?


Single-piece-flow contrasts to traditional 'batch-and-queue' production, which is the mass production practice of making large lots of a part and then sending the batch to wait in the queue before the next operation in the production process. A 'push' production system is used, whereby a previous process manufactures as much as it can, without regard for the actual requirements of the next process, and sends them to the next process whether there is a need or not.

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Womack, J.P. and Jones, D.T, Lean Thinking, Simon & Schuster, New York, USA, 1996 (ISBN 0-684-81035-2)

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