One Piece Flow  Single Piece Flow  Example

What is One Piece Flow?

→ One Piece Flow is moving one workpiece at a time between a work station within a cell or shop.
→ In opposite conditions, we might process an entire batch or lot at each station before moving it to the next station.
→ In simple language, it means that the parts are moved through operations from station to station with no work-in-process (WIP) at any station.
→ This tool works best in combination with a cellular layout.
→ In Cellular Layout, all necessary equipment is located within a cell in the sequence in which it is used.
→ It is a very popular Lean Manufacturing Tool.

Single Piece Flow



Is one piece always remains one piece in production?

→ It is not necessary that it always remains one piece but in an ideal system, it remains one piece.
→ The size of one piece should be fitted to our capabilities as implemented in our facility.
→ If our machine can produce six elements in a single operation, then it is obvious that I won’t produce only one.
→ Let we can produce six elements in a single operation.
→ So we have to take less often parts/products that are possible.

Batch Production Flow vs One Piece Flow:

→ We can easily understand the comparison between batch production and the single product flow is mentioned in the below picture.

Batch Production vs Single Piece



Requirements for Successfully implementing Single Piece Flow:

→ The processes must be able to consistently produce a good product.
→ If there are many quality issues then this lean tool cannot be implemented
→ The processing time must be repeatable, if there is much more variation in processing then we can not implement.
→ The equipment must have a very high uptime (near 100 %) which means the equipment must always be available to run at any time.
OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) increases by this.
→ Processes must be able to match with takt time or fulfill the rate of customer demand.
→ For example, if takt time is 30 seconds then our processes should be able to produce a product less than 30 seconds.

Benefits:

→ It improves Quality and reduces defects in manufacturing and also reduces inventory and other Lean Manufacturing Wastes.
→ It improves the morale of all employee and enhances overall manufacturing flexibility
→ By this, we can get a benefit to implementing Lean Manufacturing in a factory.
→ It easily identifies the kaizen or improvement
→ It provides a safer work environment
→ Continuous flow Requires less space
→ It keeps WIP at the lowest possible level and encourages work balance.



Seven steps to creating Single piece flow:

  1. Decide the Products
  2. Calculate Takt Time
  3. Determine the Cycle Time
  4. Equipment can meet Takt Time or not
  5. Create a lean layout
  6. Determine the number of the operator is required
  7. Balance the work between operators
[1] Decide the Products:
→ Decide which products or product families will go for production into your working station or cells, and determine the type of working station or cell.

[2] Calculate Takt Time:
→ Takt Time = Available working-time per shift / Customer demand per shift
→ Ex: Work time/Shift = 27,000 seconds
→ Demand/Shift = 900 units
→ Takt Time = 27,000/900 = 30 sec.
→ The customer's demand for 1 unit every 30 seconds.

[3] Determine Cycle Time:
→ Determine the required work elements, resources and time required for making 1 Nos. (i.e. determine the cycle time).


[4] Equipment can meet Takt Time or not:
→ In this step, we have to determine if your equipment can meet takt time or not?
→ The customer's demand for 1 unit is every 30 seconds.
→ So, our facility is able to produce 1 good part in less than 30 seconds.
→ Ensure that our cycle time must less than takt time.

[5] Create a lean layout:
→ You can choose any of the below layouts which is suitable for your process.
→ U-shaped layout - the best layout or S-shaped layout

[6] Determine the number of the operator is required:
→ Determine the number of the operator is required to meet customer demand.
→ Decide the optimum size of the operators.

[7] Balance the work between operators:
→ Find our the bottleneck processes and balance the work between operators.
→ Balancing gives us a smooth production.



Some Common Reasons for Single Piece Flow Failure:

→ If we can’t get materials in quality, in quantity or in time.
→ An unexpected breakdown causes downstream processes to run out of parts.
→ Our people will not adopt this change.
→ In general, our people are not cross-trained for multitasking.
→ The long changeover period fails this tool.
→ There is too much distance between the process steps.
→ The process produces defects that will stop the line if we have no buffer.
→ Variable process cycle times create an imbalance between workers.
→ If our machines are not designed as per this lean tool.
→ Sometimes our occasional work interrupts the process.

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