Modular installations offer the flexibility and adaptability required to change processes at any time to deliver continuous performance improvement.
The beauty of the Graphit modular system is that it is designed to support change. Components are inexpensive, interchangeable and reusable and modifications can be made quickly and easily using basic tools in response to evolving production requirements.
Adapting the layout of a workstation, repositioning live storage roller track or devising a new cart or trolley to handle unusually shaped components, are just some of the changes that can be made to meet new requirements or deliver incremental performance improvement.
With traditional production environments a lot of effort is placed in the design because later modifications are difficult and expensive. With modular systems, the initial design is still important but later changes are much easier to make. For production engineers this can allow them to switch their emphasis from process design to process improvement.
Modular systems, allow much more flexibility during the design, implementation and application phases. Handling, storage and workstation facilities are created using tubes, connectors and accessories, such as roller beds and wheels, that allow an infinite range of potential configurations, shapes and sizes.
Equipment can be optimised for handling requirements, available space and best possible ergonomics to reduce or eliminate wasted space, movement and distance to maximise efficiency and productivity. Many manufacturing businesses fall down by not realising there is always room for improvement, no matter how well designed the installation, and that changes can and should be made as often as needed.
The biggest benefits of modular systems in lean manufacturing are often most evident in the live production environment. Engineers can improve the layout and ergonomics of the working area to ensure tools, components and sub-assemblies are always within easy reach. This could, for example, reduce the number of picking tasks or the distances moved to place or retrieve items.
Removing over-reaching can lead to significant improvements in productivity.
Even the height of the person working at a particular workstation can affect the ideal position of tools and components. Sometimes the potential improvement only becomes apparent when production is under way.
Production operatives are very good at spotting room for improvement in their own work space. Many of the most successful implementations of lean manufacturing involve production staff collaborating with managers and engineers to identify and implement change on the shop floor. Alterations may also be beneficial if something changes in the production environment such as the introduction of a new component or tool.