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What is cellular manufacturing?

discussion8075165.jpgCellular manufacturing is usually called lean manufacturing and it is a great way to improve efficiency and to make sure all the products you produce flow through the company without defects and other problems. Cellular manufacturing focuses on reducing delays in the production process. Eliminating waste is one of the main goals of cellular manufacturing and it will allow you to reduce customer's waiting times, manufacturing delays, and other problems that cause you to lose money.

Cellular manufacturing wad developed by the Toyota Production System. Perhaps the most well-known aspect of cellular manufacturing is the Kaizen method. For cellular manufacturing to work properly you must take a good look at your equipment and make sure it is not behind the defects that are causing problems for your company and forcing your employees to work overtime just to keep up with the demands of the customers.

With the cellular manufacturing system you will completely change the way your production line has run in the past. You no longer will deal with the typical production line that has multiple employees standing around servicing single aspects of the line until the raw goods are transformed and sent off to customers as a completed product. What happens with cellular manufacturing is you will divide your employees into groups or cells. Each cell is in charge of a specific procedure. This way you can quickly identify which cell is your weakest and where the defects are coming from as each cell is in charge of checking off the other cells. When one cell breaks down, it indicates this group or the machinery that the group is using must receive a serious overhaul to fix the problems and prevent them from getting worse. The good part about working with a cell is that when one person is sick or absent, the other cell members will pick up the slack so the production process does not fall behind.

Like many other lean manufacturing principles, the goal is to create the product and get it from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time without having errors and defects. Since your cell teams are only trained in their specific area it is easier to have them become experts on this particular phase of the manufacturing chain. When they are dedicated to just one phase, its easier to identify mistakes in a hurry and thereby you will minimize the waste and other things that cause the manufacturing process to slow down.

Since it is difficult to properly implement cellular manufacturing because it takes a complete mindset change by the organization, your best option is to work with an outside company to come in and train your staff. It's going to cost you a significant investment to get your company up and running with cellular manufacturing as you will need to re-tool equipment and spend a great deal of time convincing your employees why this is the best process out there for your company. Over time as your employees adapt to cellular manufacturing and they start to see the results of it, they will become motivated and it will be easier for your company to move forward with it.

Of course the best way to implement cellular manufacturing is at a new start-up plant. This way your employees will not know the difference. You can test cellular manufacturing here and compare the results with other production companies and see if you should implement it throughout the entire company. The process of implementing cellular manufacturing throughout your entire organization is not going to be cheap by any means but with the right amount of financing, staff members, and commitment you will be able to do it and watch your business improve dramatically.

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