Beck Manufacturing and Plant Capacity
BUS 644: Operations Management
14 May 2015
Beck Manufacturing and Plant Capacity
Number of Machines
Run Time Per Piece (min.)
% Reject Rate Milling
A. Calculate the capacity of each machine center and the capacity of the system. Machine Center
5 machines x 2 pieces/min. x 60 min/hr / 16 hr. day
37.5 pieces/hr Grinding
7 machines x 3 pieces/min. x 60 min/hr / 16 hr. day
78.75 pieces/hr Boring
3 machines x 1 piece/min. x 60 min/hr / 16 hr. day
11.25 pieces/hr Drilling
6 machines x 2.5 pieces/min. x 60 min/hr / 16 hr. day
The above table showing the total capacity per hour of each machine center was calculated by taking the number of machines and multiplying them by the run time per piece per minute. This enables you to see the amount produced each minute from each machine center. I then multiplied that by the obvious 60 minutes per hour to determine the output from each machine center each hour. We know from the text that Al Beck is running two eight hour shifts so the machines are running for a minimum of 16 hours per day. Knowing this, I then take my output per hour and divide it by 16-hour days to find the actual production rate.
B. Analyze where the focus of the company’s efforts should be if Beck wants to expand capacity. Determine how much extra capacity he can get without causing another operation to become the bottleneck. From the calculations on the above table, it is clear to see that the boring machine center is the bottleneck since that is the limiting factor to production. The bottleneck is “the department, workstation, or operation that limits the flow of product through the production system. This department restricts the flow of product from upstream departments and starves downstream departments.” (Vanderembse, 2013, Glossary) Basically, the entire system is slowed down to 11.25 total pieces per hour. Mr. Beck will need to focus the company’s efforts in this department to work to increase production rates to somewhat keep up with the output of the other system functions. If Mr. Beck were able to triple the output levels in the boring center, that would be a great start, putting him in the realm of the milling center. (11.25 pieces per hour multiplied by 3 = 33.75) Of course, he would be putting additional input (cost) into more machines or running them longer. (Not including maintenance costs.) Though even tripling this machine center would bring up the production rate drastically, it would still be considered the bottleneck since it will continue to be the limiting factor, however it will be very close to the milling department making it the best decision for Mr. Beck to focus his attention on.
C. Suggest ways Beck can expand capacity without purchasing new equipment.
The best method for expanding capacity without having to purchase additional machinery would be for Mr. Beck to increase the hours each machine is running in the boring machine center. This will most likely require him to add a third 8-hour shift for the boring department in place of the designated maintenance shift and have maintenance available 24/7 incase a machine needs service. This should only require one person on duty or even an on-call guy. If Mr. Beck does add the third 8-hour shift for this department, he would be looking at an additional 90 pieces per day. (11.25 x 24 hrs/day = 270 pieces/day | 11.25 x 16 hrs/day = 180 pieces/day) All in all, that would equate to a 33% increase in production in the boring center, which is quite considerate.
He could also just add a half-shift to the schedule to allow an extra 45 pieces per hour increasing production output by 16.5% and still leaving 4 hours for maintenance to service the boring department as...
References: Vonderembse, M (2013) Operations Management; Bridgepoint Education, Inc. San Diego, CA
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