Cell or Group Layout - Process Design
In the years following World War II a novel form of layout was developed in Eastern Europe, suitable for many small to medium-batch operations. This system, cell or group layout, may be thought of as a modified form of product layout.
The difference is that, whereas the products produced in a product layout have identical process sequencing requirements and are obviously members of a family (eg different sizes and colours of a particular style of shoe), the products produced in a cell layout have similar process sequencing requirements, but may otherwise be dissimilar in appearance. In order to convert a process layout to a cell layout, a study must first be made of the process sequences of all the products made, with a view to identifying clusters (to become families) which are similar. The techniques for such analysis are beyond the scope of this treatment, but the above figure shows a hypothetical conversion of the process layout.