Integrating the Production Information System with Manufacturing Cell Design - A Lean, Linked Cell Production System Design Implementation
The linked cell system gives both reduced cost and volume flexibility. The characteristics of the linked cell system are a consequence of decoupling the operators from the machines, using standard work in process between the cells and by integrating the information system with the cell and system design. By decoupling the operators from the machines the capacity can be increased/decreased in small increments by using more or fewer operators in the cell. The information system is integrated with the linked cell design by the use of a Heijunka box. The Heijunka is used to level production and to initiate the pace of production as a result of pulling withdrawal kanban at a standard time interval. This standard time interval is called the pitch of production. The kanban cards give information about what to produce, when to produce, when to make changeovers but they also give information to control the material replenishment.