Cell-Style Workstations help boost efficiency levels.

Press Release Summary:

Configured in L or U shapes, Creform Bench-Style Workstations feature consolidated layout with access for multiple process tasking. Plastic-coated steel pipe sections can be cut to plan lengths, while assembly uses metal joints that tighten onto pipe sections via threaded fastener or plastic joints that are welded to pipes with adhesive. Inherent ergonomic principles minimize reach distances and handling effort, and help eliminate worker fatigue.

Original Press Release:

Compact, Cell-Style Workstations Boost Efficiency Levels

The Creform® Corporation (Greer, SC) has recently demonstrated the versatility and adaptability of its Creform System with the development of an expanded workstation concept featuring work cell-like ergonomics and efficiencies. Based on the original Creform-made bench style workstation, the new cell workstations lend themselves to be configured as an 'L' or 'U' shaped production cell where both feature a consolidated layout and size yet with easy access for multiple process tasking. The inclusion of U or L-shaped platforms in the cells eliminates wasted space so operators can move swiftly from station to station without excessive steps or energy. These inherent ergonomic principles can minimize reach distances, handling effort and help eliminate worker fatigue. And, since everything is close, the time and energy expended for material handling and transport is also minimized.

Use of cell style workstations also contributes to enhancing lean manufacturing strategies in several ways, the first being that the compact nature of a U-cell minimizes the floor space required. Then, the cell concept helps to eliminate waste by optimizing the performance of people, material logistics, and information flow through the promotion of one-piece-flow. This one piece flow environment also reduces work in process inventory levels as compared to conventional batch production operations. Single piece sequencing will typically improve production quality and lower corrective action costs as goods produced in lots of one lead to quicker identification of problems as they occur allowing them to be resolved immediately.

The implementation of U- or L-cell workstations helps to smooth out and readily accommodate cyclical production levels. As production requirements rise, the cell units provide workstations for extra staffing; if volumes drop off and personnel levels are lower, the cells once again support efficient, minimal-motion operation for multi-task performance.

The cell concept workstation also contributes to proper housekeeping and organized work areas. A typical application would have required components stored around the outer perimeter of the cell via parts bins, totes or containers on shelving or wheeled racks. Materials are loaded into the back of the cell from the outside, helping to keep floor production space clean and minimizing the risks of injuries.

Either L- or U-cell workstations are effortlessly designed and created to custom application requirements, thanks to the adaptive nature of the Creform-build structures. The plastic-coated steel pipe sections are easily cut to plan lengths, while assembly utilizes either metal joints that tighten onto pipe sections via a threaded fastener or by using plastic joints that are 'welded' to the pipes with adhesive. Hundreds of auxiliary hardware accessories provide flexibility and customization to complement each structure's usage.

This simple and flexible construction technique allows structures to be altered, extended, dismantled and re-assembled in a matter of hours if not minutes, to suit production changes.

In addition to cell workstations, the Creform system can be used for constructing flow racks and simple part presentation stands; push carts and trailers; roller conveyors; hinged shelf carts; tilting racks; along with portable tool cribs and storage units. The Creform System can also be used to implement economical and easy-to-install Automated Guided Vehicle systems for efficient automated material handling.

Creform also offers design and assembly services for the virtually infinite number of structures and applications possible...and partners with its customers in developing, implementing, maintaining and expanding progressive lean manufacturing missions.

Visit www.creform.com for additional information regarding Creform Corporation, its products and applications.

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