Title: A study on human-task-related performances in converting conveyor assembly line to cellular manufacturing

Authors: Ikou Kaku, Yasuhiko Murase, Yong Yin

Addresses: Department of Management Science and Engineering, Akita Prefectural University, 015–0055 Tutiya Ebinokuti 84–4, Yulihonjo City, Japan. ' Department of Management Science and Engineering, Akita Prefectural University, Yulihonjo City, Japan. ' Department of Economics and Business Management, Yamagata University, 1–4–12, Kojirakawa-cho, Yamagata-shi, 990–8560, Japan

Abstract: In this paper, we propose a study to analyse the human-task-related performances in converting a Conveyor Assembly Line (CAL) to cellular manufacturing, which include the possible added operational tasks (which is considered a negative factor for the conversion), the skill level and the cross-training of workers. Three theoretical models (CAL, cellular manufacturing and a joint type, CAL+CM) are constructed involving those constraints respectively. A human-factor-based training approach is also represented for the system performance improvement in cellular manufacturing. Assuming the product mix and the skill level of workers are probability variables, simulation experiments based on the data collected from the previous documents are then used to estimate the marginal impact each factor change had on the estimated performance improvement resulting from the conversion. [Received 18 January 2007; Revised 13 July 2007; Accepted 26 July 2007]

Keywords: assembly line conversion; conveyor assembly lines; cellular manufacturing; labour efficiency; skill levels; cross-training; simulation; performance evaluation; manufacturing cells; human factors; performance improvement.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2008.016327

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2008 Vol.2 No.1, pp.17 - 34

Published online: 18 Dec 2007 *

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