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Bottleneck processes

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Identify and discuss the main bottleneck in this process in the attached document.

The purpose of this paper is to design a flowchart for a process. This paper will select a process that I complete every day but would like to spend less time doing. The flowchart will be designed using an appropriate tool. This flowchart will include comments on the factors that affect the process design. This paper will identify one metric that is needed to measure the process. The flowchart will include data for the identified metric everyday of the work week.
Process and Flowchart Tool
The process to that I will use to design a process flowchart for will be driving from home to work on a daily basis. When the time comes enter the vehicle, fasten the seatbelt and check the gears. Next, insert the key and start the engine. When the traffic is clear and conditions are appropriate, push down the gas pedal to accelerate the car and drive to the place of work. When I arrive at the destination the car needs to be placed in park and the process can stop.
Comments on Factors that Affect Process Design and Metric Measurement
The factors that affect the time it takes to reach and the safety to reach the destination are critical parts of the process flowchart. The safety precautions, traffic, gears, and location of workplace are some of the factors that affect the process design. The most appropriate metric to be used is time. The time will be measured in minutes to measure the status and success of the process design.

Flowchart of Process Design

Data Collected
Monday 45 min
Tuesday 40 min
Wednesday 42 min
Thursday 47 min
Friday 39 min
Average 42.6 min

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Solution Preview

Even something seemingly as simple as driving to work is actually, as it turns out, a very complex process. In a 45 minute commute, there are several other components including intersection maneuvers and lane changes, traffic negotiation, and unexpected encounters (wrecks, pedestrian crossings, school buses, funeral processions, etc.) that integrate from time to time.

Looking at the attached document and combing over the process, the main bottleneck is going to be at the decision point where the driver is determining whether traffic is clear. In actual practice, there will be other determining factors such as the speed of other traffic during the long commute. However, those points in the process aren't mapped out. The actual commute is drawn as one continuous process with no inputs, etc. So, the only identifiable bottleneck is going to ...

Solution Summary

The solution examines bottleneck processes through flowcharts.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Bottleneck in a Process Described

See attached file for instructions

? Discuss the tube drawing process described below.
? Identify and discuss the main bottleneck in this process.
? Apply Goldratt's theory of constraints to identify and overcome process bottlenecks.


The flowchart above (see file) depicts one process for manufacturing metal tubing. Production capacities are listed in the following table.

Operation Machines Capacity
Ft / Day / Machine Operators Comments
Drill 1 3000 1 Supplier process
Inspection 3000 4
Insert Core 1 300 1
Draw 2 150 1
Anneal 2 150 2
Draw 2 150 1
Remove Core 2 50 2
Cut 1 50 1
Grind 1 100 1
Clean 2 150 2
QC 1 2000 4
Ship 2000 2

Process Description

Drill - Done outside by a contractor in New York. Our factory is located in California so shipping time is included in the capacity calculation.

Inspection - QC checks to see that we have received the right thing. If the tube is the wrong size, we put it back into stock (MRB) to see if there is something we can use if for later.

Insert Core - Insert a soft core in the tube so that it will maintain shape through the process.

Draw - Squeezes the tube through a die to reduce the diameter

Anneal - Heat treat the tube at high temperature to relieve stress

Draw - Reduces the tube diameter again

Remove Core - There are two machines available for this operation. If the core was not inserted properly, there can be yield problems or the time to process can be unusually long. With one machine it is only possible to remove core from 50 feet of tube each day. The machine to remove the core was designed by our engineers and the cost of a new machine is $20,000

Cut - There is only one saw to cut the tube. It can only cut 50 feet a day. A new machine would cost $150,000 but it would be able to cut 200 feet a day.

Clean - Cleaning is done manually. During cleaning operators also inspect the tubes for straightness and scratches. Adding cleaning stations would be relatively inexpensive.

Inspect - QC inspects the tubes for diameter, length, surface scratches and straightness. Ten percent of the lots are rejected and will either be sent back for rework or scrap.

Ship - Shipping has sufficient capacity but they need to wait for a minimum lot of 100 feet before shipping. At the end of the month wait time can slow things down.

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