Cellular Manufacturing is a lean manufacturing approach that helps companies build a variety of products for their customers with as little waste as possible. In cellular manufacturing, equipment and workstations are arranged in a sequence that supports a smooth flow of materials and components through the process, with minimal transport or delay.
One piece flow is a condition that exists when products move through a manufacturing process one unit at a time, at a rate determined by the needs of the customer. The opposite of one piece flow is mass production with batches and queues. One piece flow focuses on flow efficiency rather than on resource efficiency.
Applying one piece flow allows to:
- Minimize stocks and thereby reduce transport and inventory wastes
- Deliver quicker
- Minimize damage, deterioration and obsolescence.
How to operate in a U-shaped Cell?
Reduce travel distance by arranging equipment and workstations closer together. The beginning of the process must be close to the the end of the process. The goal is to minimize the travel distance between each steps and cycles.
What do you need in order to implement Cellular Manufacturing?
- Organize your operations and equipment in a logic and validated U-Shaped Cell
- Empower your operators and set multimachine and multiskilled operators as a standard
- Favor small, flexible machines
- Using autonomation (Jidoka) to eliminate machine watching
How to design cells for Cellular Manufacturing?
- Analyse & document the process today (ASIS Situation)
- Define the product family that the cell will produce and calculate the TAKT Time for the cell
- Balance the work to create flow between work-stations that meets demand constraints
- Design the cell for ergonomics
- Implement, test and improve the cell through continuous improvement