What is Job Shop Manufacturing?
Job shop lean manufacturing is a method resulting in a wide variety of products. These products are made in small lot sizes with the ability to achieve maximum flexibility in mind. They’re not specialized in any way so that customers can request customizations to meet their specific needs. The products’ operating times and sequences can vary greatly in job shop manufacturing. When the products are released, it’s done so in batches, also called “jobs”.
General-purpose machines are commonly used in job shop factories because their capabilities vary greatly and they can perform many different operations which allows the capability of producing a variety of products in small lot sizes or quantities.
Examples of companies that would use the job shop manufacturing method are: a paint shop, a machine tool shop, a commercial printing shop, a machining center, and other factories that create customized products in small batches and offer customization. The job shop process in operation management is ideal for these companies.
A factory working with the job shop production method will be laid out by department. This means all similar equipment or functions will be grouped in the same areas, i.e. all drill machinery will be placed together and all grinding machines will be together in another area. This is done to minimize the handling of materials and work in process inventories.
What are the benefits of Job Shop Manufacturing?
Like all methods of production, there are quite a few pros to the job shop manufacturing process.
- Greater flexibility: Because the machines are not dedicated to producing one particular product, there’s a great variety and mix to what you can produce and manufacture.
- Better use of machinery: When using the job shop method, every machine is used to its full and effective potential. This means there’s less need for excessive machines and lower investment in machinery.
- Increased supervision: In job shop manufacturing, the machines are grouped by departments based on function performed. Therefore, the supervisor assigned to each department has better and more specialized knowledge to ensure more productive days.
- Operators develop high skills and knowledge: Because machines are grouped by department, each and every operator can focus their attention on one machine and master this department. This can increase manufacturing efficiency and activity in each department.
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What are the disadvantages of Job Manufacturing?
With advantages, there are always disadvantages to take into consideration. Here are the disadvantages of job shop manufacturing.
- High cost of materials management: Tracking and storing materials in a factory can be costly and difficult. If one machine is not ready to take on a job or the machine worker is unavailable, materials need to be transferred and this can cause confusion.
- Increased production lead time: All parts of a batch must be completed before the items can move onto the next stage of production. If one part is behind on production, the whole batch is set back, leading to high production lead time and low low production rates.
- Distance in material flow: Because job shop manufacturing is done by departments, the parts need to be moved to the next department for completion. The flow of materials in job shop manufacturing is high because parts are constantly in motion and require movement throughout the whole shop before operation is complete.
- Heavy production cost: Due to the high cost of managing materials and the high cost of transporting parts from one department to another, job shop manufacturing is a more costly option.