What Is the meaning of DFT in regards to demand flow technology?

Demand Flow Technology

Flow Technology

With management commitment, Demand Flow Technology (DFT) provides the tools and technology to create a Flow manufacturing production process.  This total quality and Flow foundation is a critical step in any Flow production design or transformation.  It is also the foundation for the Toyota Production System and the Demand Flow Business Strategy.

Commitment to Excellence

Line Design

DFT Tools and Techniques

The initial step of a DFT Flow line design is the creation of a P-Sync. (Product Synchronization).  P-Sync identifies the relationship of all the manufacturing processes and machines to produce a product. This is a step in identifying the main and feeder processes. Each of the processes are then broken into the S.O.E (Sequence of Events), which identifies the work and quality criteria for each step of production work. Each step is broken into required work, set up work, and move work. Each step is also classified as value or non-value-added work. The S.O.E provides us with a road map of the non-value-added work which will later be eliminated in our process perfection and Kaizen phase.

Demand Flow Technology

Takt time calculations are used to determine the Takt time for each process.  The sequence of events is broken into operations equal to the processes Takt time.  As an example, if we wish to build 24 bicycles a day when we worked eight hours per day, we would have to build three bicycles per hour or one every 20 minutes.  That 20 minutes would be the Takt time for the end of the line final process. Since the bicycle has two wheels, the process that manufactures the wheels would have a 10 minute Takt time target in the order to Feed the final assembly which has a 20 minute Takt time target. Machines that make the spokes for the wheels must make 20 spokes for each wheel. The spoke machine would have a 30 second Takt time target to make each spoke.


Takt Time

This gives you a simple example to understand Takt time design once the operations are designed and balanced for multiples machines, multiple shifts, etc., 

DFT Tools Technology and Tools

Design Balancing

Once processes are defined, the Takt time is  calculated.  DFT groups the sequence of events into operations equal to the Takt time that was calculated for each process. In this step, identify the non-value-added steps and eliminate as many as possible before completing the line design.  Before we complete this step, line balancing must be examined. Line balancing addresses common issues such as multiple machines, multiple shifts, scrap, rework or just steps where the actual work content is greater than Takt target.

Kanban Pull

After the operations are defined and balanced in the line design, you can start sizing the material pull system to provide the necessary material to work at each operation. DFT determines the Kanban quantity for each part.  Initially it calculates the sizing required to pull material to each operation.  Then, Kanban pulls material from the resupply areas to the line.  Supplier to the line pulls are never approved until the supplier has met stringent process capability (Cpk) requirements and delivery performance goals.  

Kanban sizing is established one time at line design.  Even though the volume may change every day, the same Kanban quantity will last a bit longer or a bit shorter time.  This is very different from the ERP batch/scheduling that picks kits of parts based upon that days/weeks scheduled quantity. 

Results Consistent with the Manufacturing Methodology
John R. Costanza

DFT Business Strategy

Parts Per Million Quality (PPM)

DFT uses the TQC and verification requirements that were defined in the sequence of events and displays a graphical screen or worksheet at each operation.

Demand Sequencing

For mixed-model and make to order product lines, DFT will take a forecast and smooth it into a build plan. This plan is based upon the mixed-model line design and provides the exact sequence of orders to be produced. It is the priority of sales orders, i.e. 1st followed by 2nd, 3rd…etc.  It is just a lineup of orders, not a schedule.

Production Scheduling/Batch

Scheduling (push) has three characteristics. It has a start date and due date and quantity. The quantity is the batch quantity being scheduled. There is no need for production scheduling in a pull process. Scheduling is push production and it has no place in a Flow and pull production plant.

Flexible Workforce

Demand Flow Technology defines the value of each operation as well as displaying the primary position for each worker at the start of each day.  Employee certifications are based upon training, actual performance and mastery status.

Flow Based Costing

DFT uses the information from the sequence of events to automatically establish all the drivers required for flow-based costing. Moving away from labor based costing should be a high priority for forward thinking management teams. Labor based costing and departmental tracking has no place with a flexible workforce and the more productive flow process.

Management Reporting

Demand Flow Technology gives management the necessary reporting to manage a Flow production process.  Daily linearity determines actual daily performance versus the planned rate in sequence.  Actual hours earned by process is easily compared to staffing to determine productivity.  DFT allows the supervisors and managers to assist in problem solving and perfecting the process as opposed to wasting hours on who produced what and where in the past.

Demand Flow Technology

The Strategic Path

Flow Technology is a revolutionary business strategy that allows manufacturers to adjust product volume and mix every day in the direction of actual sales.  Any Model, Any Volume, Any Day…Is the DFT Way.


Leadership Commitment

Establishing the management awareness and metrics is critical.


Follow The Technology Path

The implementation path is defined and the DFT tools will lead the design, application, systems and metrics management.



The formal measurement, rewards and systems match the Flow Process.  It is never a project, it is a “New Way of Life.”

DFT is a Mathematical Technology With Detailed Steps on How to Achieve Success. As Opposed to a Philosophical Evolution.

John R. Costanza

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