Top Ten Benefits of Fork Truck Free with One Piece Flow and Small Lot (repetitive) Delivery Improves Flexibility

October 27, 2017 Fork Truck Free Info 3698 Views
  1. Improves safety by reducing motion, handling, and forklift movement. Read at (
  2. Improves quality by first defecting defects instead of creating a bad batch.
  3. Improves flexibility by shortening lead-times through processes (connected processes, smaller lot sizes)
  4. Improves scalability by making equipment that is efficient with smaller lot sizes.
  5. Reduces inventory by connecting processes and reducing lot sizes through quick changeover
  6. Improves productivity by working on one thing at a time and cutting out wasted motion
  7. Simplifies material replenishment by making the speed of material consumption steady and paced to a takt time
  8. Frees up floor space by opening space used for inventory
  9. Makes kaizen take root by exposing hidden problems and making them more visible
  10. Improves morale by promoting cross-training and skill enhancement, as well as identifying and solving problems more quickly and reducing frustration

Topper Industrial will use this blog to take a deep dive and look at this issue and benefits.

Quantifying One Piece Flow, Flexibility, and Fork Truck Free

One piece flow requires that production of the product moves from one stage to the next stage one piece at a time. Lot production is quite different and hampers flexibility because several units are made at a given stage and are then all are moved to the next stage at the same time. Most operational excellence practitioners promote one piece movement because it synchronizes effectively with just-in-time (JIT) production while eliminating idle time between the units. With lot production, the first piece made cannot move to the next step until the last piece in the lot is made. The result is lot production incurs waste as the first and subsequent product remains idle.

One piece flow comes from the Toyota Production System, the foundation of Lean Manufacturing. One piece flow is also known by various other names such as the following:

  • Make-one, Move-one
  • Single-piece Flow
  • Continuous Flow
  • Flow Manufacturing

As described above, the Toyota Production Systems emphasizes right-sizing production eliminating queues, which leads to waiting time, which leads to poor space or resource utilization, increased Work-in-Process (WIP), longer cycle times, which are all forms of waste and antithetical to lean.

Less inventory on the floor allows lead times to drop, which provides flexibility to product increased customer orders.

Recently, the EPA advocated for the flexibility found in cellular manufacturing, production work stations, and equipment because they are arranged in a sequence that supports a smooth flow of materials and components through the production process with minimal transport or delay. Implementation of this lean method often represents the first major shift in production activity, and it is the key enabler of increased production velocity and flexibility, as well as the reduction of capital requirements.

Rather than processing multiple parts before sending them on to the next machine or process step (as is the case in batch-and-queue, or large-lot production), cellular manufacturing aims to move products through the manufacturing process one-piece at a time, at a rate determined by customers’ needs.

Cellular manufacturing can also provide companies with the flexibility to vary product type or features on the production line in response to specific customer demands. The approach seeks to minimize the time it takes for a single product to flow through the entire production process.

The one piece flow method includes specific analytical techniques for assessing current operations and designing a new cell-based manufacturing layout that will shorten cycle times and changeover times. To make the cellular design work, an organization must often replace large, high volume production machines with small, flexible, “right-sized” machines to fit well in the cell. Equipment often must be modified to stop and signal when a cycle is complete or when problems occur, using a technique called automation (or jidoka).

This transformation often shifts worker responsibilities from watching a single machine, to managing multiple machines in a production cell. While plant-floor workers may need to feed or unload pieces at the beginning or end of the process sequence, they are generally freed to focus on implementing TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) and process improvements. Using this technique, production capacity can be incrementally increased or decreased by adding or removing production cells. Each of these flexible elements is best supported in a Fork Truck Free manufacturing production facility.

Topper Industrial ( is a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment. Topper provides lean material handling solutions to the supply chain.

Topper Industrial is able to engineer and design Industrial Carts (Mother / Daughter Cart Systems, Quad Steer Carts or Tracking Carts, Specialized Delivery Carts, Transfer Carts with Roller Deck, Static Carts, Rotation Carts, Tilt Carts or Kitting Carts), Industrial Cart Components (Parts Department), Industrial Containers (Corrugated and Wire Mesh Containers), PalletsLift/Tilt Systems, and Racking. Topper Industrial designs all products with ergonomics in mind, focusing on ease of use and best positioning of material to get the job done

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