Assembly Cells Versus Assembly Lines: Insights on Performance Improvements from Simulation Experiments and a Case Study

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1999
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Johnson, Danny
Associate Professor Emeritus
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Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management is an integrated program of study concerned with the efficient flow of materials, products, and information within and among organizations. It involves the integration of business processes across organizations, from material sources and suppliers through manufacturing, and processing to the final customer. The program provides you with the core knowledge related to a wide variety of supply chain activities, including demand planning, purchasing, transportation management, warehouse management, inventory control, material handling, product and service support, information technology, and strategic supply chain management.
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With the current emphasis on short product delivery lead times and customized product configurations, there is a need for systems that can quickly assemble small batches of customized product. While some plants are converting their assembly lines to assembly cells to achieve this goal, the reasons for the performance improvement resulting from conversion have not been well documented or understood, making it difficult to know when and where assembly cells are applicable. This research adds to the sparse body of literature in this area by examining the planned conversion of an assembly line to a set of parallel assembly cells in a real plant. Analytical and simulation models are used to explain why the proposed cells are expected to outperform the current assembly line.

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This is a conference proceeding from 30th Annual Meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute 2 (1999): 999. Posted with permission.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1999