Guidelines for Material Management in a Continuous Flow Production

In this post we will explain about how the materials should be arranged in a cell to establish continuous flow production. Using these guidelines helps the line operators to work in the cell efficiently.Refer our previous post to know about continuous flow production by clicking here.

  1. Keep parts as close as possible to point of use. But not in the walking path of the operator
  2. Keep parts so operators can use both hands to work instead of single hand.
  3. Try to keep all part variations at the place nearer of operator working area to eliminate change over time.
  4. Keep no more than two hours of materials at the point of use to reduce inventory levels between processes.
  5. Do not make the operators to restock their own parts. Use material handling systems on a regularly scheduled, standardized route to deliver parts and take away finished goods.
  6. Utilize kanban systems to regulate the flow of materials.
  7. Size the part containers for the convenience of the operators.
  8. Do not interrupt operator work cycles to replenish parts. Use gravity feed racks or chutes to slide the parts at the point of use.
Overhead View of Flow Rack Delivery

Source: “Creating Continuous Flow ” by Mike Rother & Rick Harris

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