Production levelling (or smoothing) is an important part of the Toyota production system. Here we show why production levelling is so important and how it is achieved in the process industry.
10 high-powered building blocks that change the way you look at your complex supply chain
Ever wish that there were simple, fundamental building blocks that could be used to represent your supply chain, no matter its complexity?
Hidden in the industrial engineering literature are 10 building blocks that can be used to clearly establish the performance of an entire supply chain.
How to create a factory performance metric that boosts productivity and changes behaviours
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is often used as the main metric for factory performance in the process industry (food & beverage, liquids, sheet goods, solid & fluid packaging operations).
However, while OEE is a good measure for independent workstations and processes, production lines in the process industry are usually made up of several workstations and processes which are all connected together, rendering the OEE metric less than ideal.
How to design a process factory that fits into a complex supply chain
Process factories (food & beverage, liquids, sheet goods, solid & fluid packaging operations) must satisfy the competing needs of high volumes, high variety and high variability. All of this in a capital intensive environment where throughput is limited by equipment rather than labour and where product changeover issues are very complex. Process factory design is … Read more
The 9 most important operational leverage points in a complex supply chain
What does your customer value? The harsh reality is that customers often don’t care if your plant is state-of-the-art. They generally don’t care if your warehousing and transportation network is cutting edge.
Usually, what they care about is how quickly products move to and through their supermarket or factory, whether the product is to specification
What is the Demand Driven approach to inventory buffer sizing?
The demand driven approach to inventory buffer sizing is very similar to the Lean approach with two clear differences. The Demand Driven approach flexes inventory buffers according to dynamic demand and it is a multi-echolon approach that takes account of factors such as inventory positioning. In 2011 Carol Ptak and Chad Smith, both long time … Read more
What is the Lean approach to inventory buffer sizing?
The Lean ethos is that all inventory is evil. “Inventory is one of the 7 wastes so it must be bad!” Yes it is bad if it is hiding waste such as over-production or under-production. If, on the other hand, an inventory buffer is cost effectively protecting the customer from surges in external demand as … Read more
7 fundamental differences between food & beverage factories and car factories
Lean manufacturing was developed using the Toyota Production System. Hence it is instructive for those working in the food & beverage industry to examine how food & beverage manufacturing is different when compared to car manufacturing. We have come up with 7 fundamental differences and would love to hear from you if you can think … Read more
How to fix a supply disaster at a high technology factory
You know the signs, the factory keeps missing production schedules and you keep depleting finished goods inventory. Its now so bad that you are missing vital customer orders and some customers are threatening to delist. This is a common story and here we use a scenario based on actual events to illustrate how an understanding … Read more
What is the optimum order quantity for my unique supply network?
This is a tough question and if someone can provide a commonsense answer then they must know what they are talking about. Well here we go! To be relevant the calculation for an optimum order quantity should take account of 100 years of industrial engineering and operations research. So ….. below we review the 4 … Read more