Like the Linear Shape, the U-Shape is a type of Production Cell Layout. It has the following characteristics:

  • Shape: The main features are that the start- and endpoints are in the same position and that all process steps are connected & synchronized. Also, you have multi-skilled operators on the inner side and parts supply from the outside.
  • When to use: Consider the U Shape layout when there is a clear workflow and when the workload per operator is balanced, or when there is a limited number of interconnected workstations (typically < 10)
  • Benefits: The benefits are reduced motion (i.e. shorter walking distances), Problems are immediately evident and it is easy to share resources and balance work. A simplified communication allows for quick reaction and maintenance can be done from outside while not disturbing the production flow.
  • Attention: Bear in mind that with a U-Shape you should make sure that the walking paths of the operators do not cross each other.

Learn more about this topic in our Workstation Design Online Course.