Cellular Manufacturing has been proven to be an economic, efficient and lean approach bringing flexibility into machining areas. Corresponding solutions use several basic machines that are adapted to the machining task in a right-sized equipment approach. However, the use of basic, low cost machinery providing just necessary functions results in a relatively high manual operation effort. The preferred approach in order to reduce manual work in production is automation. Traditional automation of man-machine systems – especially in western countries – tends to be comprehensive and thus often complex and expensive. A low cost, lean automation intelligently being adapted to the individual task, as well as a decision method for choosing the tasks worth being automated, is required. The first step on the road towards a scientifically sound low cost automation method for a Cellular Manufacturing line is identifying and quantifying the different manual tasks which could potentially be automated. Therefore, this paper starts with investigating existing analytical methods for measuring work. The different measuring concepts have been applied to the Cellular Manufacturing reference line at the Process Learning Factory CiP at TU Darmstadt. An adequate evaluation system considering reality, detail, variation and effort levels has been defined in order to assess the results’ suitability for evaluating manual work in a Cellular Manufacturing line, pointing out potentials and limits of the individual approaches. As the final outcome, a ranking of different work measurement concepts for the Cellular Manufacturing reference line is presented, verifying the applicability of the general approach and serving as a basis for further evaluation of other lines.
Seifermann, Stefan; Böllhoff, Jörg; Metternich, Joachim; Bellaghnach, Amin: Evaluation of Work Measurement Concepts for a Cellular Manufacturing Reference Line to enable Low Cost Automation for Lean Machining.