The productivity and work load in flexible production systems
TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
van Rhijn, J.W.
de Looze, M.P.
van Deursen, J.
Pikaar, R.N. (editor)
Koningsveld, E.A.P. (editor)
Settels, P.J.M. (editor)
A negative aspect of serial flow production systems is its lack of flexibility. Other production systems like the flexing flow and the shopping system are more flexible as the number of workers can be easily adjusted to temporal demands. But how efficient are these flexible systems? In a laboratory experiment we studied the worker’s productivity and the workload in a serial flow, flexing flow and shopping system. It appeared that the time for ‘walking across workstations’ in the flexible systems was similar to the time for ‘waiting’ in the serial flow line. In the flexible systems however, the working time per product was higher, which could be attributed to a ‘starting-up effect’ after each workstation switch. The subjects generally did prefer the flexible systems above the serial flow system. It is argued that in practical situations, where the cycle times are (much) higher, the variation in work pace is higher and the variation in work content is higher as compared to our experimental situation, the flexing flow and shopping systems may provide a productive alternative for serial flow systems.
To reference this document use:
International Ergonomics Association (IEA) 2006, 16th World Congress on Ergonomics "Meeting diversity in ergonomics", Maastricht, 10-14 July