Material Flow and the Design of Cellular Layouts

In Chapter 2 the concept of manufacturing cells was presented as a specific case of the product/process layout. The basic analysis necessary to transform a traditional factory into a cellular layout requires a unique development and implementation methodology. Because of this difference in layout analysis and philosophy, a separate chapter on cellular design and analysis is used for this important topic.

The use of cells creates a unique set of production modules. The division of the plant into cells exclusive to the production of a product family transforms the factory into a group of self-managed subfactories or modules. This chapter presents some design and analysis tools focused on getting a company ready to progress to cellular manufacturing.

When a production line is being designed, it is important to distribute the needed manufacturing tasks within the workstations as best as possible. One always should avoid any unneeded workstations so that task distribution can be well defined and developed and lead time can be reduced, along with work-in-process and labor costs. In this chapter, line-balancing techniques will be explained and developed.


The assembly industry has evolved since appearance of the first assembly line during Henry Ford's time. The first movable assembly line was created by Ford to manufacture the Ford Model T. Ford installed a capstan and a thick cable (Fig. 3.1) to move the cars between ...

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