TU Darmstadt

Cellular machining offers flexibility, low cost-per-part

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Lead-times reduced to 10 minutes

An economic comparison between the two machining line configurations (based on 2000 parts per week, and one worker on each line) drew startling results. The “done-in-one” line required 15 shifts to complete the 2000 parts. The lead-time was 35 minutes, while the unit cost of each part (without material) was calculated at €3.95. Using a cellular machining configuration, however, it took just 12.6 shifts to finish the 2000 components to an identical specification, lead-time was reduced to 10 minutes, and unit cost to just €2.55.

As an alternative scenario, if two workers are deployed in the machining cell the unit price climbs slightly to €3.10 as a result of the additional labour cost (but still far cheaper than the €3.95 unit cost of the “done-in-one” line), 12.6 shifts are reduced to 9.8, and lead-time is cut from 10 minutes to just 7.


Capacity up, using a cellular machining configuration

Using a capacity comparison based on 15 shifts, the “done-in-one” line will complete 2000 parts; the cell with one worker will finish 2377 components (a 19% increase); and the cell with two workers will complete 3064 parts (+29%).

In all cases, the study ensured part accuracy and quality standards were maintained and that the less expensive, general purpose machines were able to produce to a similarly high standard as the special-purpose machines.