This study aims to demonstrate the application of process mapping and simulation, using popular software tools, by examining a paper sheet cutting operation.
An integrated approach is utilized to model a sheeting operation at Advance Agro, PCL, Thailand, a pulp and paper manufacturer. The sheeting operation is one of the most critical operations. The redesigned sheeting operation resulted in setup time reduction. This was carried out by studying the process map, data analysis, and simulation of the redesigned operation (using Visio, Excel and Arena software) before a real implementation at the manufacturing plant. The simulation of redesigned sheeting process showed increase in productivity and annual cost savings.
Case experiences indicate that combining process mapping and data analysis with simulation is beneficial. The computer‐based integrated approach successfully reduces the risk of ineffectiveness of the redesigned critical manufacturing operation. In the new improved operation, higher machine utilization results in both reduced lead time and availability of more free time for operators to carry out quality inspections leading to better quality products.
The computer simulation of redesigned sheeting operation showed existing machines can handle more orders and result in higher production and lower unit cost than the existing sheeting operation. The productivity increase for the manufacturer with the new sheeting strategy was expected to be worth US $450,000 annually.
The study makes a business case that process improvement can be effectively accomplished with an integrated approach of using widely available inexpensive and user‐friendly computer‐based tools. It also showcases a good practice in manufacturing system redesign.
Kumar, S. and Phrommathed, P. (2006), "Improving a manufacturing process by mapping and simulation of critical operations", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 104-132. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380610639533Download as .RIS
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