Case Article—The Fendt VarioTakt: Revolutionizing Mixed-Model Assembly Line Production

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This case study is designed for undergraduate and graduate (EMBA, MBA, or MSc) students in operations management and e-commerce courses that focus on customer-centric manufacturing approaches. Motivated by the real-world application at Fendt, an innovation leader in the global market for agricultural machinery, students learn about a novel assembly line balancing and sequencing approach for mixed-model assembly with a special twist of an unusually high and varying degree of customization for each product. By developing and implementing the “VarioTakt,” Fendt is able to eradicate most labor inefficiencies (namely, idle time and utility work) and to curtail capital investments while raising its responsiveness to customer demand and plant productivity to a level that today serves as a global benchmark within its own industry and across industries such as automotive, machine tools, and electronics.

This article appears in INFORMS Analytics Collections Vol. 9: Feeding the World through Analytics.

Visit this collection for free access to more articles showcasing how the field of agribusiness is making rapid advancements using analytics.

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