EWAB Flow Technology
EWAB One Piece Flow
One Piece Flow versus Batches Of One
One Piece Flow refers to the concept of moving one work piece at a time in-between operations. EWAB Flow Technology moves just one piece at a time per pallet. The pallet moves at the speed of Takt time thus minimizing inventory relative to the geographic distance in-between machines. At extremely high speed production and short Takt times, each pallet can also hold more than one piece.
Batches Of One refers to the ability to manufacture any size of batch, ultimately down to a batch of one single work piece. EWAB Flow Technology can handle both One Piece Flow and Batches Of One in the same system, simultaneously!
Principles for Value Adding EWAB Flow Technology.
- The use of Pallets and One Piece per pallet to maintain One Piece Flow
- Continuous flow layouts that connect all parts of the process.
- In manufacturing, automate all machining operations with One loading device per machine.
- Drag & Drop layout modularity with Plug & Play decentralisation.
- Applying the Theory of Constraint thinking, drum - buffer - rope.
- Control system with built in Kanban to pull each individual part the quickest route through the required processes.
Definition of continuous one-piece flow:
Once work on a product begins, it should never go back into storage, and it should never stop moving until it is a finished product. This means that as soon as an operation is completed on a product, that product moves immediately to the next operation which in turn is performed immediately.
Why Continuous one-piece flow?
There is no place for problems to hide. If a mistake is discovered, all resources stop working until the problem is solved permanently. The root cause of a problem can usually be fixed quickly because it was only made a few minutes before. In a traditional manufacturing system, problems are found hours, weeks or even months after they were created, and no one can remember how and why it happened. As a result, the same problems keep repeating it self.
What are the benefits of continuous one-piece flow?
Rework and scrap decrease because there are less bad products to fix when a problem is discovered. Lead time improves because products don't wait in large batches. WIP decreases because there is only one unit at each workstation.
Takt time can be defined as the maximum time per unit allowed to produce a product in order to meet demand. It is derived from the German word Taktzeit which translates to cycle time. Takt time sets the pace for industrial manufacturing lines. In automobile manufacturing, for example, cars are assembled on a line, and are moved on to the next station after a certain time - the Takt time. Therefore, the time needed to complete assembly work on each station has to be less than the Takt time in order for the product to be completed within the alloted time.
In a manufacturing process where there is a need of more machines of one type and less of another you need to create a flow that can take alternate routes to use excess capacity. Still with one piece flow at Takt time maintained. This will optimize the investment in machine capacity.
How to create One-Piece Flow
The automation needs to be designed based on cybernetic principles to pull material through to the next available resource and must dynamically balance it self to allow only one-piece flow with a travel distance equalling Takt time.
How to respond if the product mix requirements change?
A dynamic and cybernetically designed continuous one piece flow system will allow the flow of parts to use any combination of resources. Creating Virtual Work Flow that can adapt to new customer demands on the fly while still maintaining one-piece flow.
How to respond if the production requirements change?
Disconnect and rearrange the system modules with built in drag & drop flexibility and plug & play controls and software.
Maintain quality - minimize manual handling.
The majority of a todays products are of such high quality that manual handling is a major quality issue. By handling products one by one separated on conveyor pallets is the recognised method to maintain the required quality levels, especially in machining processes.
Increase Value Adding time.
Even when using highly efficient one pice flow technology, the value-adding time (when the product is actually worked on) of a production process is normally less than 5-10% of the lead time of the process. The rest of the time, the product is either in transit or waiting. In systems based on the transfer of larger baches, such as baskets or trays, the value adding time is meassured in figures less than 1%.
Using EWAB Flow Technology is the most reliable way to minimize transit time and turn more of waiting time into value adding time. EWAB Flow Technology will increase the utilisation of available resources and thereby reduce the need of machine capacity, reduce inventory, reduce scrap and support production in small batches.
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