Cellular Manufacturing is when all recourses that are needed to produce a particular product (people, supplies, machines, tools and equipment) are placed together in a group/cell.
Everything is placed close enough together, so that everyone constantly is able to see and hear what is going on in the cell.

Types of Cellular Manufacturing

  • Product Cell: A product cell provides a finished product, and typically contains activities like assembly, test and packaging.
  • Process Cell: A process cell services multiple costumers with multiple processes across several products, which is an opposite of the process cell. It could be a CNC Machine park with an amount of machines grouped together and supporting all the organisations products.

Benefits of Cellular Manufacturing

There are several benefits by using Cellular Manufacturing, and improvement can be seen by reduction across the 7 wastes defined in lean.

  • Transportation: The transportation is minimized, as the parts does not need to be moved between departments.
  • Inventory: The cell do not produce excess inventory as there is nowhere to put it due to the layout. The only inventory produced is the finished product.
  • Motion: The motion is minimized as everything needed for producing the product is within the cell.
  • Waiting: There is no waiting time, as all material and tools needed is within the cell.

Limitations of Cellular Manufacturing

Even though there are a lot of benefits with cellular manufacturing, some limitations is seen as well. One of the items mentioned is that it by some companies is felt that it have decreased the flexibility of their manufacturing. In particular it is referred to the flexibility of the flow due to the cells capability to produce different products.

If you are interested in lean and how to make your organisation more efficient, then our 5S Training might be interesting for you. 5S is usually one of the first elements implemented when starting out with lean, as it gives a great foundation for further improvements.

Alternatively you can continue to our Quality Training page to see some of the other training we offer.

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Cellular Manufacturing