The food processing industry is growing with retail and catering supply chains. With the rising complexity of food products and the need to address food customization expectations, food processing systems are progressively shifting from production line to job-shops that are characterized by high flexibility and high complexity. A food job-shop system processes multiple items (i.e. raw ingredients, toppings, dressings) according to their working cycles in a typical resource and capacity constrained environment. Given the complexity of such systems, there are divergent goals of process cost optimization and of food quality and safety preservation. These goals deserve integration at both an operational and a strategic decisional perspective. The twofold purpose of this paper is to design a simulation model for food job-shop processing and to build understanding of the extant relationships between food flows and processing equipment through a real case study from the catering industry.
The authors designed a simulation tool enabling the analysis of food job-shop processing systems. A methodology based on discrete event simulation is developed to study the dynamics and behaviour of the processing systems according to an event-driven approach. The proposed conceptual model builds upon a comprehensive set of variables and key performance indicators (KPIs) that describe and measure the dynamics of the food job-shop according to a multi-disciplinary perspective.
This simulation identifies the job-shop bottlenecks and investigates the utilization of the working centres and product queuing through the system. This approach helps to characterize how costs are allocated in a flow-driven approach and identifies the trade-off between investments in equipment and operative costs.
The primary purpose of the proposed model relies on the definition of standard resources and operating patterns that can meet the behaviour of a wide variety of food processing equipment and tasks, thereby addressing the complexity of a food job-shop. The proposed methodology enables the integration of strategic and operative decisions between several company departments. The KPIs enable identification of the benchmark system, tracking the system performance via multi-scenario what-if simulations, and suggesting improvements through short-term (e.g. tasks scheduling, dispatching rules), mid-term (e.g. recipes review), or long-term (e.g. re-layout, working centres number) levers.
Penazzi, S., Accorsi, R., Ferrari, E., Manzini, R. and Dunstall, S. (2017), "Design and control of food job-shop processing systems: A simulation analysis in the catering industry", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 782-797. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-11-2015-0204Download as .RIS
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