Tag Archives: Shopfloor

Line Layout Strategies – Part 2: I-, U-, S-, and L-Lines

line-layout-overviewThe layout of a line can make quite a difference in the performance of your line. The U-line is most famous, although in my view while good it may not be the right thing for all situations. There is also the I-line, the S-line, and the U-line. In my last post I described some general thoughts on line design and took a look at the big picture.  In this post I want to look at and compare actual line layouts, in particularly the I, U, S, and L layout. Let me give you an overview of the different options. Continue reading Line Layout Strategies – Part 2: I-, U-, S-, and L-Lines

Line Layout Strategies – Part 1: The Big Picture

Ford assembly line 1913In flow shops, you have a production line of some sort. This may be an assembly line or a manufacturing line; this may be automatic or manual. In lean, you often hear about the famous U-line.

While this is a great solution, it may not fit all problems. Depending on the surrounding conditions, a different line layout may be beneficial. This post is the first in a series on line layout. In this post I would like to discuss what you should consider when designing a new line layout. The next post will look at actual line layout options. Continue reading Line Layout Strategies – Part 1: The Big Picture

Visit the Shop Floor or Your People Will Fool You! – Genchi Genbutsu

Jester
Only the fool trusts the presentation…

To manage your shop floor (or any other part of your enterprise), you need to have reliable data about the situation on the shop floor. Even with reliable data, the remaining uncertainty makes good management a challenge. Many managers, to save precious time, rely on data and information provided to them by their people. This is a grave mistake! Always verify at least part of the data with you own eyes! You would be surprised how different – and usually worse – it is in reality. Continue reading Visit the Shop Floor or Your People Will Fool You! – Genchi Genbutsu

Line Balancing Part 5 – Balancing Using Paper

The previous four posts in this series for line balancing all looked at how to prepare the data and do some initial calculations. You could balance the line using a computer or – much better – do it using paper. In this fifth post, we now actually start to balance the line though shifting around small pieces of paper. In the next post I will show you some important tricks, and also how to do it on a computer (bah!). Continue reading Line Balancing Part 5 – Balancing Using Paper

Line Balancing Part 4 – OEE Usage and Flexibility

Hands togetherIn the previous post we looked at the potential problems when using an OEE for line balancing. Now, in the fourth post on line balancing, we actually use the OEE to create target cycle times (or, alternatively, a target line takt) for our system before we start balancing the system in the next post. Continue reading Line Balancing Part 4 – OEE Usage and Flexibility

Line Balancing Part 3 – OEE Caveats

Stacked handsWhen balancing a line, it is important to distinguish between idealized times without losses, and times that include all types of losses like breakdowns or missing material. The ratio between the ideal time and the real time is the OEE. This post looks at some of the problems that can happen with line balancing if an OEE is used incorrectly or differently, and is the third post on this series of line balancing. Once we have determined what OEE to use, we will look at how to use the OEE in line balancing in the next post. Continue reading Line Balancing Part 3 – OEE Caveats

Line Balancing Part 2 – Duration of Tasks

Hands Pointing CircleIn our first post on line balancing, we looked at the tasks that must be included in the line. In this second post of this series on line balancing, we look at the durations for the individual tasks. Of particular interest are different strategies on how to balance a line if the tasks have different durations for different products. A second consideration is if the equipment is already available or is still to be purchased (and hence can be customized more). The next post will look at more details of the losses (i.e., the OEE). Continue reading Line Balancing Part 2 – Duration of Tasks