Hybrid Layouts: Cellular, Flexible Manufacturing & Mixed-Model Assembly

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  • 0:01 Hybrid Layouts
  • 0:35 Cellular Layout
  • 1:50 Flexible Manufacturing
  • 2:30 Mixed-Model Assembly
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

In this lesson you'll see how different manufacturing plants can have different layouts depending on their needs. You'll learn that certain layouts are able to make certain products faster than other layouts.

Hybrid Layouts

There are many ways a business can arrange its manufacturing facilities. These include process layouts, product layouts, and fixed-position layouts. We're going to look at how these layouts can be combined in different ways to increase productivity. These are referred to as a hybrid layout, which is a layout that is a combination of the three main manufacturing layouts. We will look at three different hybrid layouts: cellular, flexible manufacturing, and mixed-model assembly.

Cellular Layout

The first type that we will look at is the cellular layout. In a cellular layout, each station on the manufacturing floor is capable of performing all the steps needed to make a product. This means that if there are five workstations, then five products can be simultaneously made. For example, instead of having all the hammers hanging against the far wall, in a cellular layout each workstation will have its own hammer. The workers won't have to leave their workstations to look for tools. Each workstation will have all the tools the worker needs. Clothing manufacturing facilities may use this type of layout with each workstation having its own sewing machine with all the needed tools. Each workstation can sew its own set of clothes.

A benefit to this type of layout is an increase in product quality. With this type of layout, it is easy to locate the source of a potential problem with the products. If the products from one particular workstation keeps coming up faulty, then that workstation can be singled out for troubleshooting. For example, if all the pants coming out of workstation number 34 are all too short, then that workstation can be singled out for troubleshooting to see why the pants are coming out short.

Flexible Manufacturing

Another type of hybrid layout is flexible manufacturing. With flexible manufacturing, machines are used that are capable of producing a variety of products. For example, a 3D printing company has flexible manufacturing as the company can print any item a customer asks for. All that is needed is for the company to send the custom file to the 3D printer, and it can print any number of products.

The benefit of flexible manufacturing is that businesses don't need to install and run separate machines for each individual product. The business can have just one setup creating different products. This can save the business money when it comes to setting up the manufacturing facility.

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