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1 – 10 of 17
Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Ilenia Zennaro, Daria Battini, Fabio Sgarbossa, Alessandro Persona and Rosario De Marchi

Automated flow line manufacturing systems are becoming more and more relevant in industry, especially in the food and beverage sector. Improving the efficiency of…

Abstract

Purpose

Automated flow line manufacturing systems are becoming more and more relevant in industry, especially in the food and beverage sector. Improving the efficiency of automated flow line manufacturing systems is the core objectives of all companies as measured by the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) index. The purpose of this paper is to carry out an innovative micro downtime data collection and statistical analysis in the food and beverage sector; it introduces a numerical indicator called “Cost Performance Indicator-CPI” to estimate the performance improvement of investment activities. Moreover this analysis will be used as a basis to carry out a new simulative model to study micro downtime of automatic production lines. In addition, the presented micro downtime data collection and statistical analysis will be used to construct a new simulative model to support improvement activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Descriptive and statistical analyses are carried out about OEE, time to repair (TTR) and time to failure (TTF) data. The least efficient production line is identified and principal causes of inefficiency are investigated. Micro downtime (downtime lower than 15 minutes) covers 57 percent of inefficiency. Investigations are carried out into the three principal machines affected by this inefficiency. The study then investigates the causes of micro downtime of these machines using ad hoc data collection and analysis. The probability distributions of TTF and TTR are evaluated and an analysis of micro downtime causes and a cause-effect is carried out. The most attractive investment in terms of recoverable OEE (1.44 percent) and costs is analyzed through the calculation of a CPI. One of the conclusions is to recommend the introduction of a payback period with a variable contribution margin.

Findings

This study get the basis for the construction of a new simulative model based on ad hoc micro downtime probability distributions, applied in automated flow line manufacturing systems. It gives an effort to downtime analysis in automated production lines and a guideline for future analysis. Results of this study can be generalized and extended to other similar cases, in order to study similar micro downtime inefficiency of other production lines. The statistical analysis developed could also potentially be used to further investigate the relationship between the reliability of specific machines and that of the entire line.

Originality/value

The case study presents a new detailed micro downtime data collection and statistical analysis in the beverage sector with the application of a numerical indicator, the CPI, in order to drive future actions. In addition, the presented micro downtime data collection and statistical analysis will be used to construct a new simulative model to support improvement activities. Moreover, results can be generalized and used as a basis for other micro downtime analyses involving the main causes of inefficiency in automated production lines.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Anna Azzi, Daria Battini, Maurizio Faccio and Alessandro Persona

The purpose of this paper is to apply group assembly (GA) considerations to the construction industry and to provide evidence of construction sector industrialization with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply group assembly (GA) considerations to the construction industry and to provide evidence of construction sector industrialization with quantitative results. Moreover, a flexible assembly system is proposed, especially designed to cope with variability: this can be easily extendable to other industrial sectors, especially when dealing with extremely variable environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a case study conducted at an Italian company leader in the design, manufacture and installation of architectural claddings and lightweight continuous facades.

Findings

The research empirically demonstrates how the application of GA and the creation of project families lead to consistent enhancement also within the construction industry. The case study reveals great improvement in terms of both operating and ergonomic performances, agile assembly system reconfiguration design and make span reduction. The possibility of correlating a new project to an identified family gives the opportunity to understand the best assembly line layout configuration which should be assigned to the project, to improve the throughput time and the controllability of the assembly process and to guarantee efficient floor space utilization, lead‐time control, accuracy and reliability.

Originality/value

The novelty of the study lies in the way the assembly layout is designed to cope with variability: the assembly line, which is dedicated to more stable processes, is coupled with pre‐assembly stations, easily reconfigurable, meant to be “variability absorbers”. As far as the authors know, this is also the first time GA is applied to the construction industry. Moreover, a timely topic such as construction sector industrialization is confirmed by quantitative results.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Daria Battini and Elkafi HassiniVassiliki Manthou

161

Abstract

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Anna Azzi, Alessandro Persona, Fabio Sgarbossa and Mauro Bonin

The purpose of the present research is to explore the current situation and future expectations on whether to self‐manage or outsource logistics operations in centralized…

2906

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present research is to explore the current situation and future expectations on whether to self‐manage or outsource logistics operations in centralized healthcare networks, and to analyse and quantify the relationships between logistics outsourcing, costs and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a thorough study of a local Italian healthcare network, which evaluated the economic sustainability of logistics outsourcing. The data were collected using interviews, documentation and observations in hospital pharmacies and wards, and by referring to public information available on the internet. A system dynamic simulation followed by a sensitivity analysis was used to investigate the impact of changing key variables as well as the advice of logistics providers.

Findings

The sensitivity analysis demonstrates that logistics outsourcing is often the most economical choice.

Social implications

Performance‐oriented concepts applied to healthcare have many pros in terms of sustainable delivery of quality healthcare at affordable costs.

Originality/value

While there are numerous studies on logistics outsourcing in many industries, when it comes to the healthcare sector literature is scarce, probably due to the great changes this sector has faced in recent times: thus, the paper's quantitative findings should be seen as a first attempt to assist the “make‐or‐buy” decision process toward sustainable development of the healthcare sector.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Daria Battini, Martina Calzavara, Alessandro Persona and Fabio Sgarbossa

Warehouse picking is often referred to as the most labour-intensive, expensive and time consuming operation in manual warehouses. These factors are becoming even more…

4098

Abstract

Purpose

Warehouse picking is often referred to as the most labour-intensive, expensive and time consuming operation in manual warehouses. These factors are becoming even more crucial due to recent trends in manufacturing and warehousing requiring the processing of orders that are always smaller and needed in a shorter time. For this reason, in recent years more efficient and better performing systems have been developed, employing various technological solutions that can support pickers during their work. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a comparison of five paperless picking systems (i.e. barcodes handheld, RFID tags handheld, voice picking, traditional pick-to-light, RFID pick-to-light).

Design/methodology/approach

Warehouse picking is often referred to as the most labour-intensive, expensive and time consuming operation in manual warehouses. These factors are becoming even more crucial due to recent trends in manufacturing and warehousing requiring the processing of orders that are always smaller and needed in a shorter time. For this reason, in recent years more efficient and better performing systems have been developed, employing various technological solutions that can support pickers during their work. The present paper introduces a comparison of five paperless picking systems (i.e. barcodes handheld, RFID tags handheld, voice picking, traditional pick-to-light, RFID pick-to-light.

Findings

The proposed approach contributes to the understanding of the performance of different technologies in different application fields; some solutions are more suitable for a low-level warehouse, others bring greater benefits in the case of picking from multilevel shelving.

Originality/value

The study concerns an issue that until now has received very little attention in the literature. It compares some traditional solutions with some innovative ones by an economic evaluation. The presented hourly cost function also takes into account the different errors arising and their probability of occurrence.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 115 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Anna Azzi, Daria Battini, Maurizio Faccio, Alessandro Persona and Fabio Sgarbossa

Logisticians in the worldwide industry are frequently faced with the problem of measuring the total cost of holding inventories with simple and easy-to-use methodologies…

4991

Abstract

Purpose

Logisticians in the worldwide industry are frequently faced with the problem of measuring the total cost of holding inventories with simple and easy-to-use methodologies. The purpose of this paper is to look at the problem, and in particular illustrate the inventory holding cost rate computation, when different kind of warehousing systems are applied.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study analysis is here developed and supported by a methodological framework directly derived from the working group discussions and brainstorming activities. Two different field of application are considered: one related to five companies with manual warehousing systems operating with traditional fork lift trucks; the other is among five companies operating with automated storage/retrieval systems (AS/RS) to store inventories.

Findings

The multi-case study helps to understand how the holding cost parameter is currently computed by industrial managers and how much the difference between manual and automated/automatic warehousing systems impacts on the inventory cost structure definition. The insights from the ten case studies provide evidence that the kind of storage system adopted inside the factory can impact on the holding cost rate computation and permit to derive important considerations.

Practical implications

The final aim of this work is to help industrial engineers and logisticians in correctly understanding the inventory costs involved in their systems and their cost structure. In addition, the multi-case analysis leads to considerations, to be applied in different industrial contexts. As other industrial applications are identified, they may be analyzed by using the presented methodology, and with aid from the data from this paper.

Originality/value

The relevance of this work is to help industrial engineers and logisticians in understanding correctly the inventory costs involved in their logistics systems and their cost structure. In addition, the multi-case analysis lead to interesting final considerations, easily to be applied in different industrial contexts. As other industrial applications are identified, they may be analyzed by using the methodology and extrapolating the data from this paper.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Giancarlo Giacchetta and Barbara Marchetti

A measurement campaign was carried out for assessing the waste flow in a pilot hospital of a region in central Italy, with the purpose of having a complete overview of the…

Abstract

Purpose

A measurement campaign was carried out for assessing the waste flow in a pilot hospital of a region in central Italy, with the purpose of having a complete overview of the waste stream and of the personnel behavior in managing and handling waste flow both internally and in outsourcing. The main aim of the work was to provide instruction for decreasing waste quantities, improving segregation and decreasing costs and environmental risks. Moreover an analysis of the effectiveness of outsourcing the waste management service in terms of cost reduction and efficiency improvements and of the limits has been performed.

Design/methodology/approach

A self‐assessment model was proposed for evaluating waste generation patterns, quantities and sources and identifying anomalies. The research team comprised the hospital administrator, the head physician and charge nurse of each hospital ward, the administrative in charge of the waste management documents, the head of the hospital pharmacy, the responsible for the external outsourcing company in charge of waste collection and disposal, and the research team of Università Politecnica delle Marche. The data were obtained through the questionnaires elaborated by the group and submitted to a selected sample of personnel; they were asked to provide information on waste management practices (generation, collection, segregation, cleaning, storage) and quantities.

Findings

Anomalous behaviors were identified in the high amount of solid waste going into the medical waste stream; corrective actions have been proposed and their effectiveness has been monitored after implementation. The measures allowed a reduction of medical waste from 13 to 15 percent in two analyzed wards with a significant reduction of waste management costs.

Originality/value

This work has been requested and supported by the management of the healthcare structure analyzed, and represents a first step in the implementation of a policy that considers waste management as one of the fundamental processes for the proper functioning of the hospital.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Cristina Machado Guimarães, José Crespo de Carvalho and Ana Maia

Understanding how VMI benefits serve lean purposes in healthcare and why its outcomes can be difficult to achieve in healthcare settings is the main purpose of this study.

2874

Abstract

Purpose

Understanding how VMI benefits serve lean purposes in healthcare and why its outcomes can be difficult to achieve in healthcare settings is the main purpose of this study.

Design/methodology/approach

An in‐depth case study of VMI is presented in the perspective of the downstream member, a public general multi‐site hospital, operating as a small scale consolidated service centre in terms of material management, exploring such dimensions as: VMI benefits, risks, barriers and enablers.

Findings

Despite some unawareness of VMI benefits in healthcare, it can present a waste reduction solution not only in costs but in the quality of care for freeing clinical professionals to clinical tasks, among other savings. The multiple benefits are better explored, as in any relationship building, by investing in partnership creation and overcoming the idiosyncratic barriers of the healthcare sector.

Research limitations/implications

Although findings of a single case study are difficult to generalize, the protocol and methodology presented allow replication in other units of analysis with the same inclusion criteria.

Practical implications

This paper brings the lean deployment discussion out of the organization's boundaries, showing the interconnections and pointing to the need for future work that would allow healthcare managers to build a lean supply chain.

Originality/value

By considering VMI an outsourcing alternative, this paper identifies the lean thinking intent behind such options and enhances the idiosyncratic difficulties in full deployment in the healthcare sector, a less studied setting.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Gianfranco Ignone, Giorgio Mossa, Giovanni Mummolo, Rosa Pilolli and Luigi Ranieri

The aim of this paper is to support public decision‐makers in a local healthcare agency (LHA) in evaluating the effects of different de‐hospitalization strategies and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to support public decision‐makers in a local healthcare agency (LHA) in evaluating the effects of different de‐hospitalization strategies and the potential for outsourcing clinical services.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach adopted is based on the “patient pathway” perspective. Starting from the identification of specific care pathways, all the feasible care paths in a given LHA in Italy are investigated in order to evaluate the practicability of the de‐hospitalization of some phases with a particular focus on co‐ordination of hospitals and territorial services. A heuristic approach based on discrete‐event simulation modelling is proposed. The methodology and the simulation model have been validated with reference to field data derived from a full‐scale case study carried out within a LHA in southern Italy.

Findings

The results show where, in terms of care pathways, de‐hospitalization is practicable, valuable in terms of better resource utilization, and eligible for outsourcing. The outsourcing option appears to be more sustainable from a social point of view. It specifies that there would be no dismissal of employees, and that there would be recruitment of specialized workers such as nurses and doctors, employed under more flexible conditions. Savings in overheads would be achieved by means of patient de‐hospitalization.

Originality/value

The existing scientific literature, to the best of the authors' knowledge, deals with patient flow management at the hospital level. However, in the European countries, the public healthcare system is generally organized in terms of the territorially based allocation of service centres. Given the scarcity of public resources, the main difficulty seems to be a mismatch among actions needed to improve territorial and residential care for outsourcing, and the interventions needed to contain hospital costs.

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Sebastian H.W. Stanger

The purpose of this paper is to develop a generic framework for the assessment of VMI implementation. The framework is used for the analysis of multiple case studies in…

1652

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a generic framework for the assessment of VMI implementation. The framework is used for the analysis of multiple case studies in German hospitals to discuss the feasibility of VMI in the German blood supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is twofold. In a first step, the literature is reviewed and a generic theoretical VMI framework is developed. In a second step, the case study methodology is applied to 13 cases to assess the feasibility of VMI in the German blood supply chain.

Findings

The paper contributes a generic framework for assessing the implementation of VMI in seven steps. The research proposed that hospitals hesitate to enter a VMI relationship for critical resources such as blood. Hospitals fear losing control over critical resources.

Research limitations/implications

The unit of analysis is hospitals in Germany and the case studies do not target the suppliers in the supply chain. The paper contributes three propositions regarding VMI in the healthcare/blood supply chain.

Practical implications

A generic framework for assessing the applicability and feasibility of VMI is provided which supports managers with the implementation of VMI in a supply chain.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first papers targeting inventory and supply chain management in the German blood supply chain. It provides a generic framework for the assessment of the feasibility of VMI.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

Keywords

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