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Group Technology

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Group technology is used in a modified approach to process planning. Components are classified in families – the sets of objects with similar geometric form, dimensions and manufacturing technologies. Attributing a component to one of the families based on its form and dimensions enables to promptly identify the consequences of processes, used to manufacture similar components, in the company’s technological database and to modify it for manufacturing the new component.

Group technology can also be applied to equipment layout in a manufacturing workshop. The classic scheme groups machine tools according to the types of processing (lathe, milling, drilling boring, grinding and assembling areas). However, such a scheme has an obvious disadvantage if the enterprise manufactures a small number of component families (in comparison with the overall output) – the overheads for area-to-area transfer of the intermediate products are too high. An alternative layout scheme means organizing each area according to the component families. In this case each workshop area manufactures components from a particular family.

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