Productivity Improvement of a Manual Assembly Line
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The current project addresses the productivity improvement of a manual assembly line by making use of operations analysis in the framework of Lean production. A methodology is proposed that helps to improve the productivity of any production process. The methodology consists of selecting a product or product family to be studied followed by current process study. Once the existing process is documented, all the assembly tasks involved must be timed using time study techniques. Operations analysis enables the reduction of non-productive tasks and results in a set of standardized work elements along with the set of standard procedures for performing the operations. Assembly line balancing along with the associated operations analysis assists in constructing or re-configuring an assembly system, which is the key step in improving the overall performance of an assembly line. Following this approach, two manual assembly line configurations (single stage parallel line and five-stage serial line) are constructed for a case study. The results show that by changing over to the single stage assembly line configuration the operator productivity is doubled when compared to the existing assembly method.