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Production rate, Quantities and Assignment algorithm

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In 1992, George Brown started the Old Oregon Wood Store to manufacture Old Oregon tables. Each table is carefully constructed by hand using the highest quality oak. Old Oregon tables can support more than 500 pounds, and since the start of the Old Oregon Wood Store, not one table has been returned because of faulty workmanship or structural problems. In addition to being rugged, each table is beautifully finished using a urethane varnish that George developed over 20 years of working with wood-finishing materials.
The manufacturing process consists of four steps: preparation, assembly, finishing, and packaging. Each step is performed by one person. In addition to overseeing the entire operation, George does all of the finishing. Tom Surowski performs the preparation step, which involves cutting and forming the basic components of the tables. Leon Davis is in charge of the assembly, and Cathy Stark performs the packaging.
Although each person is responsible for only one step in the manufacturing process, everyone can perform any one of the steps. It is George's policy that occasionally everyone should complete several tables on his or her own without any help or assistance. A small competition is used to see who can complete an entire table in the least amount of time. George maintains average total and intermediate completion times.

Manufacturing Time in Minutes

It takes Cathy longer than the other employees to construct an Old Oregon table. In addition to being slower than the other employees, Cathy is also unhappy about her current responsibility of packaging, which leaves her idle most of the day. Her first preference is finishing, and her second preference is preparation.
In addition to quality, George is concerned with cost and efficiency. When one of the employees misses a day, it causes major scheduling problems. In some cases, George assigns another employee overtime to complete the necessary work. At other times, George simply waits until the employee returns to work to complete his or her step in the manufacturing process. Both solutions cause problems. Overtime is expensive, and waiting causes delays and sometimes stops the entire manufacturing process.
To overcome some of these problems, Randy Lane was hired. Randy's major duties are to perform miscellaneous jobs and to help out if one of the employees is absent. George has given Randy training in all phases of the manufacturing process, and he is pleased with the speed at which Randy has been able to learn and help out if one of the employees is absent. George has given Randy training in all phases of the manufacturing process, and he is pleased with the speed at which Randy has been able to learn how to completely assemble Old Oregon tables. Total and intermediate completion times for Randy are given.
Manufacturing Time in Munites for Randy Lane

1. What is the fastest way to manufacture Old Oregon tables using the original crew? How many could be made per day?
2. Would production rates and quantities change significantly if George would allow Randy to perform one of the four functions and make one of the original crew a backup person?
3. What is the fastest time to manufacture a table with the original crew if Cathy is moved to either preparation or finishing?
4. Whoever performs the packaging function is severely underutilized. Can you find a better way of utilizing the 4- or 5-person crew than either giving each a single job or allowing each to manufacture an entire table? How many tables could be manufactured per day with this scheme?

1. The assignment algorithm can be utilized to yield the fastest time to complete a table with each person assigned one task. The total time needed is 240 minutes. Assignments: To
From Prep Assem Finish Pack
Tom 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
George 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0
Leon 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
Cathy 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0

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Solution Summary

This posting provides solution to problems on production rate/production quantity/time to manufacture and another problem on assignment algorithm

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Annual Productivity Plan



FROM: George Washburn

SUBJECT: Annual Productivity Plan

The Plasit-brack product line is an important part of our business and with your qualifications, I am looking for some good things to happen with these products.

I am announcing the annual productivity plan and goal, which is for EMC to improve productivity this year by 5% overall. I am asking each manager to develop a productivity plan for their areas. This plan is to identify areas of productivity, the productivity measurements, and provide a plan for how the productivity will be accomplished.

I want you to consider using this multi-factor productivity measure: (Total Production of Plasti-bracks) / (Total Paid Labor Hours). Using the most recent data available, this Productivity Measure is 332.73 pcs produced per paid people hours, for Plasti-Brack. You can review the detailed data to see how I determined this measurement. A 5% increase translates to 349.37 pcs/pd ppl hr.

You can plan on a 3% to 5% increase in demand for the next year.

Here is the data that has been collected and analyzed for the Productivity Index for Plasti-Brack (click here.) Note that there is a lot of Non-Production time - I am sure we can eliminate some of this and convert it into productive use.

Given this overall productivity measure and the 5% goal, you should consider your next steps. First, do an assessment of the current situation. Then determine other subordinate productivity indices or factors that will be measured in your area of responsibility. What are the main issues and concerns about improving productivity this year? What are some of the possible processes that should be considered for process re-engineering or "lean" analysis? What improvements are you planning on making, and how will these make the 5% productivity goal?

Please do this analysis for your area. You should consult with the production managers as necessary. I want a report that provides an assessment of productivity measures and process improvement issues for the Plasti-brack product line and related production processes. Your report should include the following sections: Review of the Current Situation, Goals & Objectives, Action Plans, and Explanation/Justification.

Since you are new here at EMC, I am asking that your report also include another section that provides a review of the Plasti-brack processes including a process chart of one of the representative products. I think this will be helpful to you in getting an understanding of the processes.

I will be looking for your report in the next several weeks. Thank you. ~GW

PS - I know you are new to EMC and you may not be familiar with how we write reports. So I have attached a copy of a blank report template that I would like you to use: Report Template (click here.)

And I also have attached a copy of a report that was done a while back by Manny Jones. It is a report providing a plan to solve a big problem we were having in the Zinc Die Cast Machine Group. It is not about productivity, so you will need to taylor your report with appropriate content that I am looking for. Manny's Report (click here).


Analyze the processes that are used to produce the Plasti-brack product line. Determine appropriate productivity measures and then develop a productivity & process improvement plan. Justify your plan. Write a report to the VP of Operations.

Assignment Expectations
•Use the information provided in the Background readings. It is not necessary to do any additional research.
•Review the information about the Excellent Manufacturing Company and become familiar with the products and processes
•Analyze the processes and determine productivity measures for the various processes.
•Determine a plan for improving productivity via process improvement and lean thinking.
•Justify your plan based on the concepts of process improvement.

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