The Effect of Job Rotation and Single-Piece Flow in Human Based Assembly System
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This research aims in comparing the batch versus single-piece flow systems with respect to the impact of the operator’s fatigue variation on the throughput and resource utilization. A predetermined motion study technique, Basic Maynard Operation Sequence Technique (MOST), is used for establishing the time standards with and without the influence of fatigue. Simulation experiments are designed to measure throughput, takt time and operator’s utilization when the system configurations (batching vs. single piece flow) are subjected to factors such as job rotation frequency and operator’s fatigue index. The fatigue index is obtained from two different models, such as the Personal Fatigue and Delay (PFD) and Strain Index (SI). The result of the simulation experiments indicates that single-piece flow outperforms batch processing in all the scenarios including the models where fatigue is varied by +/-10%. Based on this result, single-piece flow is further studied to understand the impact of job rotation on the throughput. The simulation models were designed with various rotation frequencies, and the analysis shows that frequent job rotations results in higher throughput. Although the resulting analysis provides an insight to select the appropriate rotational frequencies in the single-piece flow environment that best fits the needs of the organizations, research recommends introducing job rotation every time when the operators returns from break to save the setup time without impacting production.