Mba 2nd Sem Ass

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Summer / May 2012
MBA Semester-2
MB0044: Production and Operations Management
Assignment Set - 1 (60 Marks)
Q1. What is meant by productivity? Write a brief note on capital productivity. Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of the system and looks at the economies achieved during the processes. Every process will have a number of contributors which help in achieving maximum productivity. The processes are: People, Machines, Facilitating goods, Ancillary equipments, and Technology. Each of these elements attempts to enhance the contribution of other elements.

Opportunities exist at all stages of the workflow in the entire system to introduce measures for increasing productivity. However in actual manufacturing situations, the inefficiencies will have cascading effect in hampering productivity. Communication, effective review processes and innovative methods will ensure optimisation of resources. Building up reliability into the equipments, managing the supply chain to economise on the cost factors improves productivity.

Quality circles are very efficient in incorporating low cost and non-intrusive methods of improving productivity and quality throughout the organisation.

Quality circles:


Involve all persons who are actually involved in the production system and the information they elicit and bring about improvements that are highly cost effective



Unveil creativity and encourage team work and bring about improvements almost on a day to day basis



Bring continuous incremental changes in a harmonious way instead of dramatic changes



Encourage identification of possible failures and seek methods of preventing things going wrong

Capital Productivity
Capital deployed in plant, machinery, buildings and the distribution systems as well as working capital are the components of the cost of manufacturing. Demand fluctuations, uncertainties of

SMU Roll No. XXXXXX

production owing to breakdowns, and inventories being created drag the productivity down. Therefore, strategies are needed to maximise the utilisation of the funds allotted towards capital. The strategies included are:



Outsourcing strategies



Methods improvement



Balancing of workstations



Quality circles



Rationalisation of packaging methods

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Q2.

(a) What is automation?
(b) What are the kinds of automation?

(a) Automation:
Automation is the use of scientific and technological principles in the manufacture of machines that take over work normally done by humans.

Figure shows a sample automation production process.

Figure: Automation

For services, automation usually means increase in quality and productivity using labour saving devices. Automation is ideal when the service provided or the product manufactured is highly standardised. Some extent of automation can be designed even with customisation, that is, product or services meant to produce or deliver low volumes specific to a requirement. The cost per unit determines the extent of automation required. Automation systems cost huge sums of money and therefore, a deep analysis of the various factors has to be done.

(b) Kinds of Automation:

There are three kinds of automation: fixed, programmable, and flexible. 1. Fixed: By its very nature, fixed automation is rigid. They are designed for high volume production and their rigidity ensures less variability. They are not amenable to change in product or process. They need minimal human intervention. Examples: Oil refineries and chemical processing units.

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2. Programmable: Programming devices enable machines to operate automatically. The machines have sensing and control devices that enable this. The simplest of them called machine attachments replace human effort. They guide, locate, move, and achieve relative positions by means of cams, optical sensing, and load sensing mechanisms and activate the controls to...
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