Which Production System is Better - A Conventional line Or A Modular line?

In an earlier post “Garment Production Systems” I have explained that each production system has benefits over others depending on order size, product type, technology level and skill level of the operators. When it comes lean manufacturing system in apparel making, factories start implementing modular system whatever product they might produce. It is true that in a Lean environment, the modular line is most effective than a conventional line if the modular line is run scientific way. Here conventional line means progressive bundle system which is also known as the assembly line. 

To support the above statement, I will take example of Madura Clothing’s shirt line. Recently in a conference (2011) Mr. Lal, Head of Manufacturing, Madura Clothing, presented a case of the Shirt line. They have both a conventional line and Modular line on the same floor.

According to his presentation, in Modular line, they produce 14.3% more shirts with 23% less sewing operators comparing to the conventional line.

Secondly, the labor productivity (operator only) of the Modular line is 48.6% higher than conventional line.

In the following table comparison has been show with other parameters.



Conventional Line
Modular Line
Total of 2 Modular line
Improvements
1
Production/day
700
400
800
14.3%  Higher
2
No. of Operators
52
20
40
23.1% Less
3
35
70
70
Higher
4
Throughput time (Theoretical)
1820
1400
1400
Less
5
Effective Throughput time
1870
700
700
Less
6
Labor Productivity
13.5

20
48.6% Higher

The above data shows the modular line yields better productivity in the shirt manufacturing. I am sure, you will be also using one or both types of the production systems in your factory. It would be a great study and support material if you will share your thought, with/without data.

Related Article:  Comparison between Progressive Bundle system (PBS) and Unit production system (UPS)

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