A brilliant company that produces a diverse range of a product is prone to run in to trouble if the processes are not well designed, inefficient quality measures prevail and decision making is more prone to ad hoc basis rather than a standardized process. Blitz Company, an organization distinguished for its capability to cater the diverse needs of their customers, not only on basis of design features but also lot size, has been facing a cumulative number of issues. To name a few, these issues range from production bottlenecks to capacity utilization to inability to reach deadlines. The analysis has indicated that these problems are just not due to process designs and the methodologies applied in executing them but can also be attributed to a varying number of haphazard managerial decisions. In order to scrutinize these process design flaws and varying managerial decisions, it is prudent to first understand the process flow and then analyze the bottle necks in detail. The flow of this paper will be as such that I will start by first describing the process flow, then laying down the assumptions, followed by the analysis and production times of various machinery and their processes, then a look at the managerial flaws and finally ending with the recommendations.
The three main manufacturing steps at Blitz, preparation, image transfer and fabrication had quite a few processes within. Amongst them some of them were more common than the others; hence in order to draw the most common ones, we have neglected Epoxy painting, stake and soldering process. The processes now included are, photograph, inspect and shear, drill (location holes), KPR, touch up and inspect, Plate, etch, shear, drill, configuration (Rout was popular with small lot size whereas Punch press for larger ones), Drill holes (use manual for less than 100 boards otherwise use the Green pantographic) and then finally inspect and pack. Hence from a total of 15 steps we have included 12 in our process flow, shown in Exhibit 1. The WIP boxes indicate the main bottle necks in the manufacturing process, they are, KPR, Plate, Etch and Drill Holes. Of course when we move forward, Drill Holes would top all.
1. Based on the popularity and the total number of boards, Epoxy Painting, Stake and Soldering Processes are neglected in designing the process flow, since they had the lowest number of orders and lot size.
2. The cycle times are based on per circuit board, i.e. time between two successive boards is calculated for all the steps; hence for the first seven steps, from Photograph to Etch, the cycle time is calculated by dividing the runtime by 8.
3. Since each step is for a board, all the units are standardized to min/board; this is for the drilling step which was originally given on per hole basis. All calculations are in minutes.
4. Our understanding is that the drill hole run time was calculated on the basis of total holes from all the 8 machines divided by the total time, hence the cycle time 0.1min/hole is based on the assumption that the 8 machines are running simultaneously. The same concept is applied for the KPR machines.
5. In calculating the capacity utilization, setup time is neglected based on the understanding that utilization is total run time over the total time available.
6. Taking all the days in Exhibit 6 of the case as the only working days, we use 21 days. And with eight hours of daily workload, the total working minutes in a month are 10,080 minutes.
7. For orders that had a lot size of more than 100 boards, we have used Green Pantographic Machine whereas the manual machines are used for all those less than 100.
8. The cycle time for drilling (both manual and Green Pantographic) is highest; it will be used for the purpose of cycle of each circuit board.
9. Since the photography stage has no run time, we have omitted it in calculating the through put...