How to Design Shop Floor Cells to Reduce Lead Times for Custom Products

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Course Overview

Improve Product Flow to Increase Profitability and Grow Market Share

In companies with a high variety of low-volume products, designing product-focused shop floor cells can be a challenge. Fluctuating volumes, variable product routings, and complex machining requirements make it hard to justify a cell with dedicated machines and labor. The result: an inefficient product flow causing large backlogs, excess inventory, poor delivery performance, expediting, and long lead times.

Over the past two decades, the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) in collaboration with its member companies has developed several tools and principles to design shop floor cells for high-mix, low-volume manufacturing settings.

What you will learn:

  • Where to start: Focused Target Market Segment – the nucleus of a production cell
  • Designing the cell: Analyzing product routings, determining equipment and labor for the cell
  • Addressing challenges: Shared resources, subcontracting
  • Capacity planning for the cell: Lot sizes, utilization, lead times, inventory
  • Identifying improvement opportunities: Impact of setup reduction and cross-training
  • Financial justification: Costs and benefits of the cell implementation

Additional Information

Join us to learn how to address challenges such as product mix variations, lack of ownership on shared resources, sub-contracting issues, and challenges with lot sizing and MRP scheduling. Learn about results from cell implementations that have led to over 80% reduction in production lead times, 50% reduction in inventory, and 15-20% reduction in product costs.

Course Outline

Shop floor cells: An integral part of the QRM strategy

  • QRM fundamentals and the role of your organizational structure
  • Key aspects of QRM cells

Where to start: Focused Target Market Segment – the nucleus of a cell

  • What is the motivation for creating the cell?
  • Ways to identify a Focus Target Market Segment
  • Case studies on FTMS creation

Designing the cell: Analyzing products, determining equipment and labor

  • How to define part families
  • Group workshop: determine rough cell design (part families, equipment, staffing)

Addressing challenges: Shared resources, sub-contracting

  • Common concerns with cells (low return on costly assets, cell ownership of shared resource etc.) and how to overcome them

Capacity planning for the cell: Lot sizes, utilization, lead times, inventory

  • How to support cells by understanding system dynamics principles
  • Cell planning with rapid modeling
  • Group workshop: Dynamic analysis of a cell
  • Identifying improvements: Impact of setup reduction, cross-training

Financial justification: Costs and benefits of the cell implementation

  • Strategic justification of cells
  • How to calculate costs and benefits
  • Ways to to show the impact of transformation
  • Powerful “non-financial” benefits: the impact of employee ownership

Instructor

Charlene Yauch

Charlene A. Yauch, Ph.D., P.E., has been an engineering educator for over 20 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Oklahoma State University. Her notable honors include five teaching awards and a National Science Foundation Career grant. She has taught a wide variety of classes, including Manufacturing Systems Design & Analysis, Materials & Manufacturing Processes, Computer Numerical Control Machining, Automation Technologies, and Engineering Economy.

Her professional interests relate to the implementation of manufacturing system improvements, such as Quick Response, Lean, and Agile Manufacturing, with emphasis on the human, social, and organizational aspects. Prior to her doctoral degree, she worked in industry for six years, performing a wide variety of tasks for manufacturing firms, including simulation modeling, facility layout, and process improvement. She has also advised numerous student projects related to manufacturing system improvement.  Dr. Yauch has a multi-disciplinary educational background with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University, and graduate degrees in sociology (M.S.), manufacturing systems engineering (M.S.), and industrial engineering (Ph.D.) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Charlene Yauch

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