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The Types Of Manufacturing Cells

What is a manufacturing cell and how does it help to improve a company in order to produce you with some type of continuous-flow program? There are several different types of manufacturing cells that you can choose from and you need to be able to understand the expectations placed on your organization when you focus on adding in some type of program like lean manufacturing. Here are the different types of manufacturing cells that you can choose from when you are focused on a lean environment.

Functional Cells
The functional cells that are used in manufacturing plants will end up grouping together a series of equipment pieces that are similar. You will have machinery that is used to help you test equipment where other machinery that is used to perform other functions such as the assembly phase or your completed product phase. The functional cells that are used in lean manufacturing often need to different phases in the production phase that will correspond together. You likely have a number of things that will get together to provide you with a certain end result.

Typically the areas that utilize functional cells are your inventory areas, transportation areas, production, and processing. Inventory needs to have functional cell program that helps you to organize your inventory but will also be able to help you with other things as well like the management of your inventory costs so you don't get in over your head with over processing. Using the cells within the company can help to reduce issues you may have with things like over processing or under processing and they can also help in managing defects due to the production line or defects that occur due to your quality control efforts.

Mixed Cells
This is the type of manufacturing cells that are used to help when you have a series of operations that you need to work on. Typically you have products that have a lot of similarities so they can be used to provide you with a mixed cell as they require certain identical elements and then other elements that are not identical. It is hard to understand mixed cells specifically because you have so many products that require different elements so you cannot have a high volume of these cells.

Focused Cells
When you use focused cells you typically will end up having a series of products that have to be sent through a bunch of different operations. You have focused cells for your products that have a high output and will require you to use high volume machinery in order to make it understandable and to help it function correctly. For lean manufacturing environments, the functional cells do tend to work the best and can easily provide you with a higher product volume that you need to remain competitive in your industry.

Why use cells?
The question remains for many companies, why should you use manufacturing cells? There are a variety of reasons why you might want to use them as studies do show they are the best way to helpyou create a smooth-flowing manufacturing line. You have a product that will go through the manufacturing line without delay and will require minimal transport. Companies that implement it often find that their costs are dramatically reduced and you have the ability to cut down on your lead time as well. Your company will be organized effectively so you can have a series of products that do not require a lot of employee involvement. This makes it manageable for one or two people to be in charge of several different products that may be similar.

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