If you are looking for ways to increase productivity, then maybe it’s time to think about your production process as a value stream.
Manufacturers who employ the use of workcells can benefit from significant improvements in performance. Production times are reduced as the process from start to finish is significantly reduced. This is why cellular manufacturing has been described as a necessary step towards manufacturing excellence, eliminating late orders and facilitating much tighter lead times.
Cellular manufacturing is achieved by creating a system of workstations and conveyors to optimise the production line. The parts travel along the workcell route for every step of the production process. This journey is sometimes called a Value Stream.
Planning Value Stream mapping is an important place to start. Before a workcell is created; processes need to be examined to find out where waste can be eliminated and time saved. Spending time on the factory floor observing and listening to operatives who see waste, the associated costs and the lack of product flow will give you a fresh perspective. Sharing a large diagram/map to highlight crucial steps in production will help you to collate processes, plan improvements and achieve the optimal shape and size to facilitate the requirements of production. Including everyone in the planning and implementation of improvements will encourage ownership and lift morale. Staff are able to see that their role, however small, has a huge impact on the overall process.
Using a workcell ensures that each workstation onroute is well stocked with the correct items for the task. The workcell can be any shape to suit the facility requirements, for example: U shaped, L shaped or in a continuous line. Workbenches can be used to connect the workstations for pushing light, easy to handle parts along to the next operator and gravity conveyors can be used to assist with moving the heavier items.
The benefits of cellular working:
- Work in progress is reduced at workstations as needless and high volumes of ‘work in progress’ are easily identified within the value stream.
- Mistakes are reduced as the production journey is clearly mapped out and all parts and processes have allocated positions.
- Parts are less likely to get lost or damaged as moving and handling is minimised.
- Monitoring is improved as managers are able to keep track of the whole process at all times and implement continuous improvements. The flexibility to reconfigure, move and adjust our mobile workcells make them the ideal solution for managing process change.
- Production schedules an dinformation can be displayed on noticeboards integrated into the overall design.
- Workstations can be mounted on locking wheels and can be moved or repositioned easily by one person.
Designed to optimise the working environment and occupy exactly the right amount of space for the process. The modular nature of our system means that they can be modified whenever production requirements change. For more information see: Custom Workcells Promote Teamwork
Contact us for more information or to arrange an onsite visit with our sales team.