Other commonly applied terms are:
Prerequisite tools to review when creating a workcell:
These are possible when there is physical access to both sides of the cell. Sometimes the cell may need to be designed against a wall and a U-shaped cell is the better option since raw and finished parts are at the same side.
Three elements to be considered, the flow of:
Workcells may be as simple as one of the above, or it may be a combination of them. Multiple U-turn workcells are combinations of straight and U-shaped cells.
GOAL: Workcells are intended to reduce floor space, improve throughput of smaller batches, provide more predictable production, and improve cross-training.
Questions to consider for cellular flow:
When designing a U-shaped workcell there should be consideration (if using humans) to whether the operators are left or right handed and perhaps try to accommodate both.
At some point a direction must be selected and usually counter clockwise is most efficient for people to work within.
Most people are right-handed, right eye is more accurate and stronger for most people. Also consider that track events are usually ran in a counter-clockwise direction.
Avoid sharp turns, jerks, or rapid acceleration
Avoid static positions for extended period of time
Make out of control conditions quickly visual - at eye level
Keep activity at shoulder height
Most frequently used tools closest to operator and point-of-use
Use gravity or other mechanical advantages
Avoid vertical movement and strive for horizontal movement
Design workstations that suit the operator height (possibly flexible height)
Design a place for everything (...and audit to ensure everything stays in its place)
This is probably the most influential factor in successful cellular implementation. Not only does this satisfy workcells, but this also curbs the dependence on specialized operators, vacations, and absences.
Creating the best product families
Typical characteristics are the geometry, tooling, and process step commonality. Must understand the components that takes longest to set-up or has the least capacity (bottleneck - determine with takt time and balanced loading).
Lack of consideration to Human Factors
Virtually all implementations of significant change or transformation will meet resistance due to past paradigms. The team designing the cell must be enthusiastic, open-minded, and capable. This first cell created will be judged and will set the precedence for the workcell principle and Six Sigma program going forward.
Rules, regulations, standards, work instructions, past practices, are all fair game. All of these items are prone to change and the circumstances of their origin may also be different.
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