SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

Font Size: 
Material Flow Through a Heavy Manufacturing Bay
Bathabile Alina Lebepe, Dieter Hartmann

Last modified: 2013-06-23


Material flow problems often occur in organizations where a large amount of items are passed through a number of stations in order to be assembled. This paper provides insight into such a problem currently experienced at a company manufacturing boiler houses for power stations, and the steps taken to solve the problem.

Data was gathered by way of time-and-work studies, the results of which were analyzed using Stat::Fit® and fitted to statistical distributions. The data collected revealed worker utilization ranging between 19% and 56 %, value adding work between 34% and 53%, coupled with a rework rate between 12% and 13%. The data was used to construct a simulation using Simio® which was used to propose scenarios that could improve the current state. The improved state raised worker utilization to 75% and reduced reworks to 5% predicting a throughput increase of 50% and 8% respectively.

Further design improvements included improved communication channels between sub-processes, improved  inventory management and reduced  non-value adding work. Collectively these proposed solutions provided a way of improving throughput using current resources through the use of sound industrial engineering techniques and concepts.