Assembly Line - Theory and Practice

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Edited by Bishnu Pal. Edited by Alexander Kokorin. Edited by Theophanides Theophile. Edited by Kresimir Delac. Published: August 17th DOI: Bulent Durmusoglu Open access peer-reviewed 6. Eventually the delayed parts will be too late too. While it may take some time, you can estimate how long it will take you to pay and leave.

Now imagine someone cutting in line in front of you.

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Certainly, you will have to wait longer. Now imagine every third person cutting in line in front of you. Your waiting time can be very unpleasant. The second rule requires the FiFo lane to have a clearly defined maximum capacity.

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There must be an upper limit, after which the preceding processes have no more space in the lane to put parts and must stop. When the FiFo is full, the preceding process must stop. By the way, there is no explicit rule for a minimum capacity. The minimum capacity of a FiFo lane is zero.

Since it is impossible to have less than zero parts in the lane, we need no extra rule to cover impossible cases. If there are no parts, the next downstream process has to stop. The reason for this rule is to avoid overproduction. Overproduction is one of the seven types of waste Japanese: muda , and according to common wisdom it is the worst type of waste. If you produce too much, your system will be clogging up.

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Everything will be slower, waste increases, throughput time increases, and your system will be anything but lean. As always, some rules can be bent and others can be broken. The two rules above are what turns a buffer into a FiFo lane. These rules make a lot of sense and should be followed. However, there may be rare cases where it may make sense to break the rules.

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Just be fully aware that by breaking these rules you will create some problems elsewhere that you can not yet even see. The question is, is it worth it? Now you have two options:.

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Purists would say that you must not break the rules. Practice has taught me that sometimes it may be necessary to break the rules. In the example above I would break sequence and take the two products that I cannot process off the line and continue with other products.

After the missing parts arrive, I would put the products back in the FiFo, possibly even jumping ahead in the line. However, I would like it even less to stop production for three days until the parts arrive. At the same time, be careful not to make too many exceptions. You mess up your system, you teach your employees that rules in general are only optional, and worst of all you take pressure off the system to improve. Hence avoid breaking the rules as much as you can.

A FiFo lane has quite some advantages.

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