Flexible manufacturing cells
Customers these days want a larger variety and more customised products, as well as specific quantities delivered at specific times. To meet this manufacturers must remain flexible enough to serve its customer's needs: Manufacturing cells allow manufacturers to provide their customers with the right product at the right time. They achieve this by grouping similar products into families that can be processed on the same equiptment in the same sequence. A manufacturing cell is a group of workstations, machines or equiptment arranged such that a product can be processed progressively from one workstation to another without having to wait for a batch to be completed and without additional handling between operations.
Types of manufacturing cells: Functional cells: These perform a specific function as opposed to manufacturing a complete product and consist of similar equiptment. Group technology: These perform a series of operations for several different product lines, these products usually involve similar manufacturing operations but not usually identical. Works well if the company needs a large product range with low volume such as personal items Product focused cells: These cells are product focused and typically manufacture one type of product through a series of operations. Ideal for lean manufacturing and are perfect for a small product range with high volume manufacturers.