Don’t get bog down by these words, like Single piece flow. These are very simple to understand.
In 1980’s across manufacturing sector machines were arranged in a club or group of machines like milling machines together, grinding machines together and then jobs used to move from one set of machines to another. Ie the machines were arranged as per operations.
IN 1990’s cellular manufacturing concept started. Here machines were arranged as per the product line. Like all machines for producing crankshaft were placed together, all machines for producing Cylinder block were kept together. This is called as cellular manufacturing setups or cells.
Now once you arrange machines as per products then next thing is to cut on the inventory or WIP in the line. So this has given rise to a concept called Single piece flow.
Single piece flow concept has 2 objectives
- Reducing inventory in pipeline ie WIP.
- To make a line for sensitive that means any rejection will be immediately caught and corrected also maintenance and all support teams are always on the toes as any stoppage affect the end output as no inventory is available in the pipeline.
Monitoring a single piece flow is very easy for supervisors, just while taking a round of the line just see if there are more jobs between two machines and always insist on operators to keep only one job waiting for loading between two machines.
See how simple it is