Benefits of a proper production system
What are the best production systems? There is no clear answer to this question. Indeed, it depends on several factors, some of which are:
- Production Mix
- Annual Throughput
- Manufacturing Processes Involved
- Make or Buy strategy
Generally speaking, a Job-Shop layout enhances flexibility, whereas a production line enables higher productivity.
Whether you have an already existing production facility to be optimized or you want to implement a new one, it’s important to recognize that the selection of the proper solution is a vital decision. Indeed, a proper production system:
- helps the company to react quicker to customers needs and to demand variation
- reduces inefficiencies and wastes of time and money
- helps to reduce the shop footprint
However, designing a proper production system is not just about selecting a layout, but it is a complex activity that involves a series of steps and the utilization of digital tools to reach out the best possible trade-off.
As industrial competition increases, it becomes more apparent that improved levels of output, efficiency and quality can only be achieved by designing better production systems rather than by merely exercising greater control over existing ones. The design of a production system comprises a linked set of widely ranging activities and involves problems common to a variety of situations, regardless of the technology and process being used.
Whether you need to implement a new production cell or to improve an existing system, we provide you the right support. Implementing a manufacturing cell implies several steps:
The first step implies the definition of the production system requirements like, but not limited to:
- Space availability
- Product Variation
- Max throughput
- Budget availability
- Overall Equipment Effectiveness
In this sense, using a proper method and right tools becomes essential to achieve the expected result.
A project plan can be done once the basic project requirements and constraints are defined and well understood.
The third step implies a preliminary analysis of the manufacturing and/or assembly sequence. This phase is critical, because it affects all the downstream steps.
The fourth step is probably the most time consuming and implies a detail definition of the overall manufacturing and/or assembly process, including, but not limited to:
- set up and process time
- type and numbers of machines, fixture, tools
- type and number of workers
- estimated moving time between different stations
- corrosion prevention solution
- lifting solutions
The Discrete Event Simulation is a very powerful tool which is used to size and estimate key indicators. A DES models the operation of a system as a discrete sequence of events in time. Each event occurs at a particular instant in time and marks a change of state in the system. Between consecutive events, no change in the system is assumed to occur; thus, the simulation time can directly jump to the occurrence time of the next event, which is called next-event time progression. Typical indicators are:
- max throughput
- production cost
- lead time
- machine and workers utilization
To reduce the waste of time associated with unefficiencies within the line, it is recommended that all stations last pretty much the same amount of time. This step can be done by using a DES or, in a more simple (but less accurate) way by excel file.
“Lay-out identically involves the allocation of space and the arrangement of equipment in such a manner that overall operating costs are minimized” James Lundy
Process Simulation is a useful approach to analyze important factors like, but not limited to:
- space utilization
- fixture size
The Virtual Build Event consists in a 1 or 2 days Workshop in which the team and stakeholders assess the final concept by exploiting Virtual Reality capability.
One of the fundamental aspects of a modern production system is the ability to reconfigure itself according to demand variation. It’s evident that physical constraints don’t allow to move heavy machines or plants, however it’s possibile to implement smart solutions to enhance flexibility. Some example are:
- reduce the set-up time
- implement an effective IoT solutions to enhance the information flow
- develop algorithm to enhance a data-driven decision making process
- use multitasking machines and Additive solutions
- implement RTLS solutions