Same People – Same Machines – Same Pace

The ideal work cell pursues the goal of having the same people use the same machines to produce at the same pace every day.  Why?

Easy to see, almost feel, the problems

A well designed work cell almost looks like a metronome pulsing at a steady pace hour after hour.  It may appear as parts flowing in sync down a line or people rotating from work station to work station in harmony.  This feel of pace, synchronization, and harmony makes a disruption look brutally obvious.  When the harmonious order is interrupted it not only looks but feels like there is a problem .

STOP. Take action now on the one part with one problem

When a disruption occurs in the harmonious cell and production stops it creates a sense of urgency to solve the one problem that has been identified.   It will typically have only effected one part and can be rectified immediately before harming any more products.  A well designed work cell prevents the over production of bad parts by stopping and solving the problem while it is small.

Restore safe quality flow

The same people working at the same pace on the same machines allows for others to jump in an help catch up. Everyone is so familiar with how to do their role at their prespecified pace that by simply adding additional resources at the same pace the line is able to catch up and protect customer demand.

Solve problems or call for help

The well designed manufacturing cell will quickly identify problems and solve them quickly. It will restore flow by adding resources if needed and most importantly, when all of that fails beyond a prespecified time – the team in the cell will know to call for help.

Help your organization work toward the goal of the same people using the same machines at the same pace to feel problems, stop and solve them, restore safe quality flow, and call for help if they cannot.

Brian Mansure

Brian Mansure

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