Cellular manufacturing performance measurement based on cell characteristics
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Cellular manufacturing (CM) is concerned with the grouping of resources to process a part or a family of similar parts. Performance measurement, feedback, and corrective action are the elements crucial to improve system performance and implement the cycle of continuous improvement. The performance of any manufacturing system depends on its nature and on the complexities of its elements. Similarly, the performance of cellular manufacturing systems depends on the attributes or properties of the elements that make up the system. These attributes or properties are termed “cell characteristics.” The objectives of this research effort are to develop categories of manufacturing cells, called “cell profiles,” based on similar cell characteristics and to determine the performance measures that are important for specific cells on the basis of characteristics defining those cells. A survey of companies with manufacturing cells in their facilities was conducted to achieve the above-mentioned objectives. Each survey participant chose a specific manufacturing cell in the company’s facility, and reported on its characteristics and performance indicators considered important to that specific cell. Two tools, the Direct Clustering Algorithm (DCA) and a combinatorial method, were used to analyze the survey data. Reasons for conversion to CM by companies, performance indicators currently tracked by companies, performance indicators considered important for CM, and performance indicators important for cells with a specific characteristic or a set of specific characteristics are the results of this research.