AN INTRO TO CELLULAR MANUFACTURING FOR PERMANENT MOLD ALUMINUM CASTING
WHAT IS IT?
Cellular manufacturing is a method used to produce a product from raw material to finished goods in close proximity to facilitate continuous flow production. We simply travel a few feet throughout our cell to complete a project instead of travelling miles.
(Before in red. After in blue.)
WHY WE ARE USING THIS METHOD
- Increases uptime net effectiveness
- Improves productivity and reduces waste
- Prevents errors
- Eliminates production overages and shortages
- Improves scheduling with increased flexibility
- Eliminates the need for inventory management
- Optimizes use of floor space
- Enhances health and safety of our employees
- Builds a multi-skilled workforce
- Increases employee satisfaction and engagement
- Aligns with our Continuous Improvement Culture
HOW IT BENEFITS OUR CUSTOMER
- Lowers cost
- Improves delivery
- Strengthens reliability
- Ensures product quality
- Shortens lead time
- Increases flexibility
- Enables responsiveness
HOW IT COMES TO LIFE
LOWERS THE RISK OF INVENTORY ISSUES
With the volume of parts we produce, batch-and-queue leaves the door open for inventory and organizational challenges including miscounted and incorrectly produced parts. Cellular manufacturing decreases our potential of dealing with inventory errors by casting one part at a time until the desired finished goods quantity is reached.
Without excess inventory to manage or store, we have maximized our use of space without the unnecessary costs of producing overages. The less space we use for storage the more space we have for people and equipment to make more product.
DETECTS SUBSURFACE DEFECTS QUICKER
One stand-out challenge of batch-and-queue is the inability to catch subsurface defects as they occur. There have been instances where we wouldn’t find a defect until the products reached machining – by then it was too late and we were left with a high number of defective parts requiring us to recast and cause a delay on finished goods.
DEVELOPS CONFIDENT AND CAPABLE EMPLOYEES
We have transitioned from single-skilled to multi-skilled employees who have the ability to maintain and improve our respective cells. Increased knowledge and skill gives us the confidence to educate our colleagues, understand cause-and-effect relationships within cells, and adjust casting parameters almost instantly based off what worked, or didn’t – resulting in reduced product defects.
CREATES ERGONOMICALLY FRIENDLY WORKSPACES
We’ve brought our plan to life and experienced its benefits firsthand by developing our employees, improving our workspaces, increasing our uptime, and lowering our customers’ costs.