Investigation into the production optimization of a dry mixing batch plant
This dissertation reports the investigation and combination of optimization methodologies and the result of implementing them within a production environment. A literature survey was conducted on the optimization methodologies Lean Manufacturing and theory of constraints (TOC). A number of production optimization methodologies were studied and considered for application to the case study organisation. Due to the small size and relative simplicity of the operation, these methodologies had to be simplified and combined into a more relevant form. A refractory manufacturer was used as a case study for the investigation into the optimization of the dry batch plant. Lean Manufacturing and TOC are optimization methodologies that could be employed to optimize the dry batch plant. Tools from these methodologies were used to investigate problems identified within the production process that were causing the batching plant to perform non-optimally. A time and motion study was conducted and a process flow chart was created to understand the production process. Wasteful activities were identified using a value stream map and a flow process chart was used to visualise the movement within the production process. A 5-Why analysis was conducted to determine the root causes. An optimization plan was created to eliminate the wasteful activities and the operational measures, that is throughput, inventory and operating expense, were used as to determine what the effect the optimization plan would have on the wasteful activities (Lean Manufacturing) found within the batching plant and the organisation. The results of the combined effect of the optimization plan are discussed focusing on the improvements in the operational measures and the increase in profit from sales. Future research is suggested to improve the benchmarking of the optimization plan and any future improvements that the organisation might implement.
- Engineering