The layout of workcells in a U shape has several advantages:
- The IN and OUT are close, allowing visual control and management, according to the production takt, a single person can handle both the cell input feeding and output
- The shortening of distances allow sharing of work, as well as reduction of transportation waste
- These layouts provide convenient foundation for one piece flow
- Communication among team mates in the cell is easier
- The work is done inside the U, supplies remain outside
- Usually machines and tables are on rollers (if possible) for quick reconfiguration
- The floor space is generaly fewer with a U cell than stretched line (including inventories and supplies), walk distances are also reduced, as they are Muda (waste).
Paul Akers from FastCap shared some thoughts and examples of U shaped cells from his company in this video:
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