National Cranberry Cooperative

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  • Topic: The Cranberries
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National Cranberry Cooperative
In early 1981, at the National Cranberry Cooperative’s receiving plant number 1 (RP1), overtime costs are too high and delivery trucks and their drivers have to wait several hours to unload. The trucks have to wait because the plant’s holding bins fill up and there is not temporary storage. The holding bins fill up because within the cranberry operating system there is a bottleneck, a place in the production process where production slows down because of a slow or insufficient number of machines. This bottleneck is being caused by the lower relative capacity of the dryers. Relieving the bottleneck in the dryers by adding more dryers will allow the trucks to move through the dumping area more efficiently and decrease overtime costs in 1981.

The three dryers individually process 200 barrels per hour, for a total of 600 barrels per hour. This is much less than the other processes in the plant. (see exhibit 2) •Dry holding bins 1-16 store 250 barrels each, making dry bin capacity 4000 barrels per hour. •Wet/dry holding bins 17-24 store 250 barrels each and wet bins 25-27 hold 400 barrels each. Since only 30% of the cranberries forecasted for 1981 will be dry, and the dry bins hold more than 30% of the bin capacity, all of the wet/dry bins should be dedicated to the wet cranberries. Therefore, total wet bin capacity is 3200 barrels per hour. •The destoners capacity is 4500 barrels per hour.

The dechaffers capacity is also 4500 barrels per hour
The separators capacity is 1200 barrels per hour.
To relieve the bottleneck, the cranberries need to spend less time in the dryers than they do in any other part of the process. The next longest process is the separating process. Assume that, according to exhibit 1 in the National Cranberry Cooperative (Abridged) case, RP1 receives approximately 18,000 barrels of cranberries a day. (see exhibit 3) •The cranberries spend 15 hours in the separator.

To speed the drying...
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