Modernization improves manufacturing cells’ efforts

Case Studies

Modernization improves manufacturing cells’ efforts

An operation that was too cumbersome to be flexible in a changing market and too antiquated to maintain its competitive edge was the dilemma facing a centrifugal- and hydraulic-pump manufacturer. Its products were used in the mining, military, flood control, and municipal water supply industries, and many products were built to order based on its customers’ unique specifications.In short, the facility was a low-tech shop trying to produce a highly engineered product with consistent quality and tight tolerances.

An in-depth analysis of parts and existing equipment led to the development of part families that would support planning for cellular manufacturing. In the move toward mass customization, a team-oriented structure was used during the planning and implementation of cell manufacturing. Employee groups, including direct labor workers, supervisors, and engineering support, worked to define the needs, secure capital equipment, and implement the physical and philosophical changes.

The implementation of this factory of the future was a major undertaking for this division. New manufacturing strategies were introduced — cells, JIT receipt of materials, production per customer order (not made from stock), DNC — important to meet the needs of mass customization. It involved a team effort with full corporate support.

Activities in this case study include:

  • Analysis
  • Cellular Manufacturing
  • Mass Customization
  • Just-in-Time Manufacturing
  • Direct Numerical Control (DNC) Technology

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