Design production and logistic systems
Changes requirements of customers new technologies expanding the product range, requirements for increasing flexibility etc. often require a change in production or logistics system. Whether it is a minor or significant change, oriented locally or comprehensively, it is beneficial to approach the search for a solution - to design the new system systematically.
For design production and logistic systems the following approach has been proven in cooperation with industrial companies:
Quick scan of current state
Knowing the actual starting point greatly reduces the time for designing and implementing change and contributes to the reduction of transformation costs. If the company does not have a revised overall vision of change, we can help at this stage also with its preparation.
Defining common goals
The most common initial requirement for design production and logistic systems is usually "logically deploying production to larger premises due to the introduction of new lines and machines". In order to achieve maximum effect, it is appropriate to extend this requirement of return on investment (ROI) as follows:
- increase productivity,
- reduction of logistic costs,
- quality improvement
- reduction of production costs.
Setting the right goals also defines the boundaries of the project, which will determine the requirements for setting up a research team (involving interested managers in analyzes and in finding the most appropriate solution).
Concept design of future state
Based on analysis of the product range is possible define value flows (product groups with similar characteristics). If the value flow is complicated and composed of several parts, it is advantageous to divide it into several basic blocks and then analyze for these blocks:
- capacity options,
- achievement of quality levels,
- necessary inputs and outputs,
- interconnections between blocks,
The aim of these analysis is mainly to define the basic and supporting elements of the production system, design "Block layout" and at the same time determine the links between these blocks. Saving individual blocks can be difference:
- product layout,
- process layout,
- cellular layout,
- flexible layout,
This approach can be used for either single part production even for mass production. Even in such different conditions, it is possible to look for solutions that ensure greater flexibility of the production system and thus more satisfactory fulfillment of the objectives - key performance indicators (KPI).
Choosing the alternative
Since conceptual design takes multiple parameters into account, it is possible to create multiple layout combinations. There are usually more variants available. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Each variant may show different levels for key performance indicators (KPI).
Based on these facts is possible proceed to choosing the best solution (solutions that best meet the defined expectations of the submitter). For this best solution (sometimes for the best solutions) they are assembled static or dynamic simulations. Thanks to them, the client can easily understand the relationships, links and limits of the proposed solution.
When we creating a block layout, we often encounter the first significant pitfalls -outdated and inaccurate documentation, non-drawn production machines and equipment, missing service parts, mismatches in hall dimensions atc. For solve this situation, we advise the client to consider 3D skenovania and update respectively creation of the 3D dokumentation production layout.
A detailed design of the new layout is then processed into the current production layout, which includes the identification of all the necessary areas and zones:
- work zone,
- service zone,
- input and output material,
- areas for components and aids,
- zone for maintenance,
- zone for logistics.
It is necessary to aggregate data associated not only with the main production process, but also with the data needed for maintenance, supply, operation, ergonomics, etc. The proposal processed in this way is a good preparation for including the necessary information in Building Information Modeling (BIM).
Verification and evaluation of design
For the evaluation of a new design of the production or logistics system it is necessary to take into account all direct costs resp. investments, but the side effects of the new proposal must also be borne in mind. For a comprehensive evaluation it is useful to assess:
- costs associated with the purchase of new technologies,
- costs associated with the building modifications,
- costs associated with the production limitation,
- costs associated with the change of business processes,
- costs of retraining employees to new processes,
- additional costs for the operation and maintenance of new technologies,
On the other hand, any benefits or impacts should be taken into account when assessing the impact of the proposed solution on the production or logistics system. Typical questions we face when assessing the benefits of the proposed solution:
- What will be the performance of the new production or logistics system?
- What will be the impact of the new solution on the quality level?
- How will the level of inventories and thus the commitment of funds in inventories change?
- What will be the use of operators resp. how many operators will be needed in the new system?
- How many logistics resources will be needed in the new system and how will they be used?
- How will failures affect the new system?
- What will be the running time of production resp. running time of logistics process?
- How to choose production batch size? How to dimension the size of transport batch?
Implementation of final design
By designing a new layout (a new production or logistics system), the process of change just begins. Implementation process can have a significant impact on the overall benefits of the new solution, namely:
Highly positive impact
- fast implementation,
- early benefit of the new,
- lower costs for implementation,
Highly negative impact
- more expensive implementation,
- additional costs,
- no-filling the expectations,
Quality and detailed planning and management of the change process can improve your return on investment. Defines the correct sequence for making a change eg. sequence of movements / changes, whether stocks need to be prepared, additional resources obtained, temporary use of external services, etc.
Equally important is the promotion of change, informing employees of the reasons, benefits and how the change will go. In order to ensure that the objectives are met, great emphasis must be placed on the correct and thorough implementation of the proposal - assistance in the actual implementation.
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