Cell Layout Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Operation Management

What type of layout would you use for the assembly of a television set? What are the reasons for this choice?

A product layout would be best suited for the assembly of a television set. Televisions sets, in general, are commodity products with very little differentiation between product classes. In many instances a Sony 32-inch high definition television will have many of the same components as the Sony 40-inch high definition television set. Conversely, auto manufacturers often use the same parts on similar vehicle types.

In regards to a television set, companies often mass produce these items to achieve economies of scale. Manufactures, such as those that create televisions, often have very high fixed costs associated with property, plant, and equipment. As such, the more television that are produced the cheaper on a per unit basis each television is. The manufacturer therefore has incentive to product a wide array of televisions using the same components to further reduce costs (Ohno, 1988).

To facilitate this process, a product layout would allow for the greatest amount of efficiency as compared to the other forms of layouts. For one, the layout is geared primarily towards processes that are high volume and low cost. This is particularly useful for television manufacturers as they often compete based on price. For example, in many instances, there is very little differentiation between a Phillips 32-inch HDTV, and a Pioneer 32-inch HDTV. As such, manufacturers often compete on price. Through the product layout system of production, costs can be spread over numerous products and reduced on a per unit basis.

In addition, there is very little variety in regards to the product layout. Components are usually assembled in mundane and repetitive fashion. Again, this is particularly useful to a television manufacturer as assembly is simple and straight forward. Machines, along with the appropriate personnel repeat the same functions daily. There is very little variety needed in regards to production. Therefore, a product layout can help individuals specialize in a particular component assembly, further reducing costs (Hyer, 2002).

What are the advantages of that a cell layout attempts to achieve compared to other layout types?

Cell layout is unique in that it is hybrid of sorts. It combines the efficient operations and benefits of a product layout with the flexibility of a process layout. This ultimately enhances value as the cell layout benefits from the advantages derived from both the process and product layouts.

The first, and arguable the most distinct benefit of the cell layout is the reduction in change over and through put time. This benefit directly impacts manufacturing costs which can be directly transferred to net income. Change over time can be very costly with products that are massed produced. The time to alter assembly lines, transport goods to another department, or change appropriate personnel, can result in large amounts of time lost in the assembly phase. Wasted movement on the part of workers in particularly bothersome as they are unproductive in the process. This time, which otherwise could be used to produce still…

Sources Used in Document:

References:

1) Hyer, Nancy and Wemmerlov, Urban. (2002). Reorganizing the Factory: Competing through Cellular Manufacturing, Portland, OR

2) Ohno, Taiichi (1988). Toyota Production System. Productivity Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-915299-14-3

3) Swamdimass, Paul M. And Darlow, Neil R. (2000). 'Manufacturing Strategy', in Paul M. Swamidass (ed.), Innovations in competitive manufacturing, Boston, Mass.; London: Kluwer Academic, 17-24

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