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Layout Decision

In: Business and Management

Submitted By emmanue
Words 1553
Pages 7
Work Cells * An arrangement of machines and personnel that focuses on making a single product or family of related products. * Are configured as product designs change or volume fluctuates. * First presented by R. E. Flanders in 1925.

Advantages of Work Cells (1) Reduced work-in-process inventory (2) Less floor space (3) Reduced raw material and finished goods inventories (4) Reduced direct labor costs (5) Heightened sense of employee participation (6) Increased equipment and machinery utilization (7) Reduced investment in machinery and equipment

Requirements of Work Cells * Identification of families of products, often through the use of group technology codes or equivalents. * A high level of training, flexibility and empowerment of employees. * Being self-contained, with its own equipment and resources. * Test (poka-yoke) at each station in the cell.

Advantages of Work Cells over Assembly Lines and Process Facilities (1) Because tasks are grouped, inspection is often immediate (2) Fewer workers are needed (3) Workers can reach more of the work area (4) The work area can be more efficiently balanced (5) Communication is enhanced

Figure 9.10
Improving layouts by moving to the work cell concept.


Current layout – workers in small closed areas.

Improved layout – cross-trained workers can assist each other. May be able to add a third worker as added output is needed. (b)

Current layout – Straight lines make it hard to balance tasks because work may not be divided evenly. Improved layout – in U shape, workers have better access. Four cross-trained workers were reduced to three.

Note in both (a) and (b) that U-shaped work cells can reduce material and employee movement. The U shape may also reduce space requirements,...

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