Continuous Improvement in Cellular Manufacturing: The Case of an Electronics Manufacturer in Japan


This study is case-based research that analyzes continuous improvement in cellular manufacturing at an IC (integrated circuit) recorder manufacturing plant in Japan. The study provides practical insight into how to make an effort to improve the productivity of one-worker cellular production over time. On the basis of workers’ feedback as well as motion analysis of them using therblig, the study reveals the following six major steps to improve productivity: (1) size reduction of cases for assembly parts, (2) layout change of cases for assembly parts, (3) size reduction and layout change of cases for finished products, (4) position change of an oscilloscope that is used for electronic testing of finished products, (5) height reduction of a worktable, and (6) configuration change of a cell from L shape to I shape. The implementation results indicate that a worker can reduce the takt time by about 19% and hence assemble about 23% more products.

Cellular manufacturing, continuous improvement, case study, electronics industry

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