Group Work, Flexible Layout and Productivity.
Work-study & Henry Ford’s mass production line based on the division of labor worked miracle for a few decades. But with time the division of labor implying assigning a simple repetitive task to operators started showing its ugly face.
Group Work, Flexible Layout and Productivity
Monotony in doing the same job day in and day out, lack of creativity in such job and different types of body dis-function in performing such work started taking its toll on the industry, especially in the clothing industry where full automation of production processes was a far cry.
Workers in the western world started turning their backs to such industries.
There were movements in the western world “to turn back the clock to concepts of craftsmanship & complete individual production systems”.
Besides, clothing trade also underwent drastic changes in its pattern from mass scale order to small lot varied style orders in the 1800s. Conventional machines layout based on the division of labor can’t handle small lot production.
So the machine manufacturers as a part of a quick response market pattern designed flexible modular layouts to get the customer right products, at the right price, at the right time, at the right place.
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The Features of Flexible Layouts
The flexible layouts are conceived of having the following features:
- Reducing labor turnover & absenteeism.
- Improving the work environment.
- Increasing opportunity for group work & creativity and thus enhancing operator interest & involvement in such work.
- Increasing worker responsibility.
The Objectives of Flexible Layouts
These systems have a set of other objectives such as:
- Improvement in efficiency & productivity.
- Quick response to market needs.
- Continuous improvement of quality.
- Reducing thorough put time & Work-in-progress.
A good number of the system such as
- Juki Quick Response System (JQR),
- Toyota Sewing System (TSS),
- Rinaldi system & Pfaff.
The below system are an example that can handle a low volume of production & entertain Quick Response demands under the prevailing market patterns. These systems also pave way for individual craftsmanship, agility & operator creativity on one hand and on the liberate operators from the slavery of single task monotony.
Toyota Sewing System
Toyota Sewing System is designed in U shaped form comprising a number of machines. One operator handles 3-4 machines so they need to work between machines. The machine tables are adjustable in height. As a result during the whole period of work, they don’t require to sit or stand in a fixed position. In this system, expensive or specialized machines are shared between operators.
Thus this system removes work monotony and body parts dis-function due to the so-called Cumulative Trauma Disorders or Repetitive Motion Disorders.