Problem 5 (Individual Queuing SIMUL8) : The Furniture Shack
The furniture shack makes custom oak furniture. They are just going through a redesign of the manufacturing plant to better understand how they can improve the process. You speak to the floor manager and he explains the current process and asks if you can help him identify opportunities to improve.
Wood comes in raw from the various bulk suppliers and unloaded off the trucks. There it is inspected by 1 foreman and sequentially sorted into 3 queues to produce the table tops, legs and cross beams. The queues can only hold 2 pieces of wood each to be fed into their respective processes.
The process for making the table tops and legs is quite similar. The wood must be cut appropriately and then separated to be put into a natural or high gloss finish. Before it can go into the finishing machine it has to sit in a queue for a little bit as the finishing machines can be a bit variable. After finishing the table tops they are inspected and then sent off for to a separate plant to be put together.
Similarly the legs follow a similar process and may be high gloss or natural finish as well.
The crossbeams have a slightly different process as there is no need to separate the finish but rather they have to be cut and then have pre-drilled holes done before finishing and inspection.
Appendix 1 outlines the processing times for all the different components. You should run at least 10 trials to come up with a reasonable range of results.
Bob has a couple of questions for you?
1. How long does it typically take to process a table top, legs and cross beams
2. How well utilized is my inspector?
3. How would the furniture shack benefit from adding an inspector?
4. Which process is the most variable to complete, please provide some rationale