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Lean Question on Batching

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  • #51170

    newbie
    Participant

    I have a very simple process that involves a single operator scanning a part using a handheld device and then placing that part into a specific container.  The number of parts is over 200 and hence, so are the number of containers.
    Would it not make sense here to scan the items and batch them (in some logical way), and then transport those batches to the containers? I know this is double-handling and batch processing, but one-piece flow would require extensive walking by the operator. 
    So does batching make sense here? 

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    #177094

    DLW
    Participant

    A basic question to answer is: What happens next? Once a part is
    in its container, does it sit there for some period of time anyway?
    Does it get consolidated with something else before moving on? Or
    is someone or some process waiting for it?
    As you probably already appreciate, there can be situations where
    some amount of batching is a more reasonable compromise
    overall. “One-piece flow” — or “make one, move one” — is not
    necessarily the Holy Grail to be pursued at all costs. Batch
    reduction should be a goal whenever batching is EFFECTIVELY
    causing stoppage, delays, etc. — and when the benefit to the
    “customer” warrants the cost and effort of it.
    But having said that, you might examine whether there are other
    ways to do what you are doing: Some other form of material
    transport besides the operator walking? A carousel or turret
    mechanism for the containers? Some type of conveyor system?
    It’s hard to offer much without more specifics.
    DLW – BPEX

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    #177096

    newbie
    Participant

    DLW,
    Thanks!  That helps…the part sits in its own container and waits  for a period of time until the container is full and moves onto for further processing or until the shift is over, at which point it moves on for further processing. 
    But knowing that batching, where it doesnt delay downstream operations would be appropriate.
    Thanks again!

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    #177097

    DLW
    Participant

    Be careful, though. Having the part sitting only until its container is
    full does not mean it isn’t causing a delay. That just defines the
    extent of the batching.
    If the “further processing” in fact could happen sooner if the parts
    arrived sooner, then your batching probably IS causing stoppages
    and delays.
    Why are parts batched for the next shift? Does that shift do entirely
    different operations?
    Also, I didn’t mean to oversimplify the question of batching or no.
    Keep in mind that batching in general can be problematic in other
    ways; e.g., you could be batching defects, too, meaning you
    wouldn’t detect them as soon. With a longer “management time
    frame” you cannot be as responsive. And you could be tying up
    parts and components and labor prematurely. There are more
    considerations than just whether it causes obvious delays. As with
    most things, we want to find the optimal solution.
    DLW – BPEX

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