|Type of paper:||Case study|
|Categories:||Project management Business plan Business management|
Production Activity and Control, sometimes referred to as floor control, is mainly concerned with the control of the actual activity of making a product or service delivery. PAC deals with controlling the priority of operations at the work center. Significant inputs to a PAC system include the source of orders that need processing and the instructions on how to control and process the given rules. Additionally, for the process to be efficient, the PAC requires some resources such as tooling, equipment, and material to execute the orders.
What kind of warning signals would you like feedback from PAC to the MRP system?
Warning signals are essential in helping identify shortfalls and volume plans; signals enable management to know if it is possible to carry out a planned task. The main objective of Production Activity and control is to manage the resources flow. MRP systems are not well programmed to work on the inventory. Additionally, the MRP system is entirely dependent on the bill of material to compute the resources required.
In your own words describe the Theory of Constraints and explain its merits, and challenges and give an example of its application.
The theory of constraints works on the idea that every process has a limitation. In production, focusing on eliminating the obstacle is the most effective way to maximize profitability. The theory of constraints takes a systematic approach in identifying and the most central bottleneck that is a hindrance to effective productivity. After identification, the bottleneck is improved until it is no longer a limiting factor. The theory postulates that every complex system is made up of several interlinked activities, one of which is the weakest link or the constraint. It provides a great set of tooling to help manufacturing companies achieve their long term and short term goals in production.
The theory of constraints is beneficial in the sense that it inherently prioritizes improvement activities. In an environment that calls for urgent improvement, TOC prioritizes the current obstacle hence offering a highly focused approach to create the needed improvement rapidly. When implemented successfully, the theory results in several benefits. There are increased profits for the company, rapid development, smoother and faster product flow and improved capacity in production. For example, supermarket management might be conflicted as to why there are low serve rates at the supermarket; to get a solution, the management has to identify the bottleneck. Is the supermarket not stocked well, could their speed of service be too slow for clients, are they not selling quality goods or are they too expensive? In this case and point, the management needs to implement the Theory of Constraints.
While this theory can be a vital tool in improving the performance and productivity of a company, it is indispensable to be aware of the limitations that come with using it before applying it for its recommended solutions. Although this theory's main job is to identify the constraint, in some cases, the identification might be faulty, and the limitation identified might be as a result of another underlying obstacle, or it might not be in any way related to the existing production. The theory of constrains is more effective in solving the current bottleneck, and therefore it is limited to short term immediate solutions. Additionally, this theory does not take into consideration the variable factors such as product demand, invested resources and market dynamics.
In the list of priority rules, there is no first-come/first-served (FCFS) rule, yet most banks, cafeterias, and theatre ticket booths use this rule in waiting on patrons. Why isn't it a suggested rule for the shop floor?
In the Production Activity Control or Shop floor, there is the use of different types of production sequences to ensure that there is sufficient workflow. Everything cannot be produced at the same time due to capacity volume. Therefore, there is a need for a sequence through which the items are processed. First Come First served is a common rule of delivery sequence at banks, supermarkets and cafeterias where patrons get served in the same order they arrived at the queue. The most significant advantage of using this rule is that the parts maintain the parts in which they arrived, which makes it easy to find and fix problems. However, for production and manufacturing, the use of First come first served rule is not as efficient as it might be in delivering services. Scheduling in high capacity systems entails two crucial decisions - the allocation of the tasks to work centres and determining the sequence of production. Sequencing in production Activity and control involves the timing of specific operations. Sequencing has an impact on capacity utilization, production costs, and meeting customer delivery dates. In production First come first served rule is the least effective considering that there are tasks that come before others but consumes a lot of time and results in others having to wait in idle downstream resources, which means process priority does not matter. When high priority tasks remain in line, it might result in system crashing due to improper scheduling.
Why should buffers be located in front of bottleneck work centers under TOC scheduling? How should the size of these buffers be determined?
In production, once a bottleneck has been identified, it is vital to determine the degree and if it is manageable. A bottleneck could be inconsequential or severe; a minor bottleneck does not call for an immediate response, whereas a severe bottleneck requires quick response and management. Under TOC scheduling, to maximize the production of a machine, it needs to be kept in operation for the longest time possible. This constant running of the device can be achieved by supplying it with buffer stocks. Buffers under the theory of the Constraints system refer to an assumption of the time required to process a particular order at a given stage. Buffering under TOC scheduling at the bottleneck is done through consideration of the safety stock and lead time. From the analysis of data, it is clear that for constraint buffers, size should be determined numerically; the more feeder machines at a work centre, the smaller the buffer size that is required. On the other hand, for assembly buffer, the buffer size is significant if the feeder machines.
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