Analyzing Process Bottlenecks Tools

Q

QAMTY

#1
Hi everybody


Does anybody know of some tools (maybe books or software)
to be used to analyse the capacity of a process (how many orders/time could a machine execute)?
The idea it is have a software system, or simulator (all machines
working but at the same time assigning to each machine a job, with certain time and with several subprocesses, with the possibility to add and remove resources (people, raw material,etc.)
I have several machines for manufacturing, milling machine, drillers, cutters,etc. and have bottlenecks, but dont have the ability to comply the delivery to clients.

A lot of factors are affecting me, so that it is not easy to be managed.

People absent, machine failure, raw material with problems, modifications on-line, etc.

Then, it´s almost impossible to have a precise OTD control.

Maybe it is a two step process.

First is to determine the capacity of each equipment, then, maybe to have a support of a software to manage all points involved in each job.

Please advise on this.
 
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howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#2
ProModel is simulation software which I used (many) years ago. If I recall correctly it will do what you're trying to do - simulate your process flows and show you throughput times. I'm not sure if it has limitations, but looks like you can download it free here:

https://promodel.com/products/PCSDL2014#pcs-dl

Disclaimer: I'm not associated with ProModel, but the company was founded by a college professor I worked with when I went to school at BYU.
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#3
Hello there!

The tool Howste provides looks like a good one. It appears that there are several different things you would like to get accomplished, besides calculating capacity (like scheduling). So a program may work well.

I might start small and work from there....

How many production lines do you have?

Is each production line different; do each have the same bottleneck(s)?

Are you wanting to just "accept" the bottlenecks, or try to address them?

What I'm getting at is that the bottleneck governs the systems throughput. If you can help address the bottlenecks, you can then possibly start working towards a consistent flow. Once you achieve that, you can then get a better idea regarding short/long term throughput.

Until then, your bottlenecks will govern your process.

You might want to check out the Theory of Constraints.
 
Q

QAMTY

#5
BradM


How many production lines do you have?
5 lines

Is each production line different; do each have the same bottleneck(s)?
yes, they are very different

Are you wanting to just "accept" the bottlenecks, or try to address them?
well most of the times bottlenecks happen, but I think the major problem is the OTD, which is not in compliance, because managing 5 lines and be affected by several problems dont allow me define an exact date of delivery of products.

Thanks
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
here is an alternative approach: these simulation packages - while intellectually interesting - really don't address the problem you have with On time delivery. The reason is fairly simple: the simulation software primarily looks at 'value-add' time. in other words, the time that the product is actually being built. some software will include things like defect rates and downtime. All of which you have to measure and enter in to the program after you build the operations into it. This takes a lot of time and doesn't incorporate where the real delays are coming from. In most cases the significant sources of delays are the waste that occurs outside of the value add time. it's all the moving and waiting and searching for stuff and counting and rework and you get the picture...you could put this in the model if you wanted but why?

Why not go out to the processes and watch them? look for waste. the constraints will be easy to spot as that is where the inventory piles up. in my experience actual observance of the process, identification and continual removal of the waste is the fastest and most effective way of improving on time delivery (and reducing cost and improving quality)

A great start into understanding this is "The gold mine" by Freddie and Michael Balle. "The Goal" by Eli Goldratt is a great start at the theory of constraints. both books use a story to get their points across. I do believe in the Theory of constraints in making quick large gains and I have found that going into the Toyota Production System approach of continual waste elimination gives huge returns beyond what the theory of constraints will do.
 
Last edited:

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#7
Let me preface this with the notion... that what I'm trying to get to is explained better in BevD's post. My first suggestion is to observe and truly understand your process; and where the problems are.

BradM


How many production lines do you have?
5 lines

Is each production line different; do each have the same bottleneck(s)?
yes, they are very different

Are you wanting to just "accept" the bottlenecks, or try to address them?
well most of the times bottlenecks happen, but I think the major problem is the OTD, which is not in compliance, because managing 5 lines and be affected by several problems dont allow me define an exact date of delivery of products.

Thanks
Ok... so you have five very different lines, each with it's own uniqueness.

The first thing I would suggest to you is start with compiling numbers and determining your baseline. Before you do any of this, I would make sure that everyone involved understands what you're doing, and why. Human behavior is an odd thing (reference The Hawthorne Effect). So if they don't understand the motives (improvement of the entire process for everybody's benefit) you may start to have some problems. It would be great if you could do your observations without being seen/ as if, it's just another regular day. Next, determine precedence relationships. Make a chart of the steps of the process; what order it needs to be done in; and note what must be done before the next step.

For each of the five process, how long does it take for the product to travel through? This may be as simple as using a stopwatch for short cycles; and dividing completed production by # of hours or something. How long does it take in each step of the process?

Next, simply observe the process. Is there a station where a person/equipment is idle a lot? Is there another where it seems that individual never gets caught up? Another where (like Bev said) stuff is piling up? These are opportunities to make some adjustments where you can develop a more consistent flow. Note, it may not necessarily be a fast flow; but a consistent one. Once you get a consistent flow, you can make more informed judgments how much you can produce in a day.
 
Q

QAMTY

#9
Thanks hogheavenfarm

I downloaded the excel files but dont understand them properly
Terms like buffer, loos to balance, etc. are not so clear.

Do you know how to use them?

Thanks
 
#10
Maybe it's being a while but... give a try to logykopt-schema (SCHEMA) is very useful software in terms of planning and scheduling. For example, for injection molding, you can have several production lines, and several thousands of part numbers and still be able to simulate the production for over a period, and also to restrict some of the resources: molds, machines, wait times, downtimes, maintenance. It is also packed with Execution and control tools such as OEE, OTIF, and many more. The system is hosted on the cloud so it's easy to try.
 
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