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Improving automated pallet handling procedures at a Saudi milk factory through overall equipment effectiveness

Reham Tarek Alnounou (Department of Industrial Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Rawan Ahmed Asiri (King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Sara Ayman Alhindi (Department of Industrial Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Layan Marwan Shams (Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Sadia Samar Ali (Department of Industrial Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Eren Özceylan (Department of Industrial Engineering, Gaziantep University, Gaziantep, Turkey)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 20 December 2022

58

Abstract

Purpose

Saudi Arabia's 2030 vision targets an increase of 34% in non-oil revenue participation in the GDP, thus the need for automation and digital transformation. The Company ER is a market leader producing high-quality dairy products in the Kingdom and is a pioneer in the production industry. The company has recently increased the capacity of its milk factory to meet its vision. An investment was made to automate the pallet handling procedures at the milk factory to provide increased production for daily consumption. The new automation transition in Company ER's milk factory provides a unique opportunity to utilize lean management tools to improve the current automated processes before commercialization.

Design/methodology/approach

OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) will monitor losses for different operational losses in the new automated system and indicate system improvements, with 85% as the target. Based on DMADV (design, measure, analyze, design and validate) methodology, this study analyzes the entire automated pallet handling system. It uses lean tools to identify areas for improvement, identify waste elements and propose solutions to achieve Company ER's OEE targets.

Findings

In this paper, the outcomes will be presented as documented solutions that address the losses encountered in the production system, showing a 12.8% increase in the system's OEE.

Research limitations/implications

Owing the time and resource constraint, this study only involved automated pallet handling procedures in a milk production facility. Hence, the generalization of the result is slightly limited. More studies in several different processes and sectors are required.

Practical implications

This study provided a valuable tool for researchers for gaining deeper understanding regarding the lean manufacturing and its implementation. For practitioners, it is useful to evaluate the degree of lean manufacturing tools in their material handling systems.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to develop lean manufacturing constructs for evaluating the automated pallet handling procedures in a milk production facility.

Keywords

Citation

Alnounou, R.T., Asiri, R.A., Alhindi, S.A., Shams, L.M., Ali, S.S. and Özceylan, E. (2022), "Improving automated pallet handling procedures at a Saudi milk factory through overall equipment effectiveness", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-06-2022-0411

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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