THE U-SHAPED LINE

FOR A FLEXIBLE PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION

1. LEARN BY YOURSELF & CHALLENGE YOUR WAY OF DOING

 

WHY

Makes it possible to apply the just in time by producing parts one piece flow

WHAT
The U-shaped line is one of the methods of Just in Time organization. Equipment are arranged U-shaped and the operators are not limited to one workstations as on conventional production lines.

HOW

  1. Examine the initial situation using a process analysis and quantities by reference

  2. Eliminate a maximum of Muda identified during the analysis

  3. Group the workstations as close as possible to form a U-shape. It is very important to guaranty ergonomics workstations. Management team should support the transformation process.

  4. Balance posts and minimize their size to what is strictly necessary. Ensure a good level of team multi-skill.

  5. Arrange supplies frontally at stations, outside the line. It is necessary to provide a location for evacuation of the empty boxes

  6. Define operating standards for different models and production rates

  7. Train teammates.

BENEFITS
  • Since a person is involved in several positions (or machines), the waiting time due to balancing problems is minimized.

  • As people are located inside U-shape line and supplies outside, moving between stations is easy.

  • The U-shape line also allows the reduction of stock, the production space and operators movements.

  • Allows increasing the number of possible combinations during the balancing of working stations.

  • Be careful, training time are quite long so U-shaped line is not adapted when operators are changing frequently.

  • The input (IN) and the output (OUT) are close, can be visually controlled and served, according to the cadence, by a single person

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