1993 volume 25(7) pages 923 – 944
doi:10.1068/a250923

Cite as:
Patchell J, 1993, "Composing robot production systems: Japan as a flexible manufacturing system" Environment and Planning A 25(7) 923 – 944

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Composing robot production systems: Japan as a flexible manufacturing system

J Patchell

Received 19 March 1992; in revised form 20 October 1992

Abstract. In this paper, case-study evidence of the composition of four robot production systems is provided to reveal the linkages between local, regional, and national social divisions of labour. The relation-specific skill epitomizes the sophisticated procedures used to compose production systems, and the four case studies provide evidence of the communalities and varieties of these procedures. The geography of the interrelationships of the vertical divisions of labour of design-supplied suppliers and of the horizontal division of labour of design-approved suppliers is discussed. The cooperation and competition within this social division of labour allows Japan to function as a flexible manufacturing system.

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