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Archive for the ‘MB0044-Production and Operation Management Assignments’ Category

MB0044  : List the objectives of JIT. Explain briefly characteristics of JIT.
Answer : Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing is a process by which companies don’t keep lots of excess inventory; instead, they manufacture a product as an order comes in. It is a management philosophy of continuous and forced problem solving.

The objective of JIT manufacturing system is to:

  • Eliminate waste that is, minimise the amount of equipment, materials, parts, space, and worker’s time, which adds a great value to the product
  • Increase productivity

JIT means making what the market demands when it is in need. It is the most popular systems that incorporate the generic elements of lean systems. Lean production supplies customers with exactly what the customer wants, when the customer wants, without waste, through continuous improvement.

Deploying JIT results in decrease of inventories and increases the overall efficiencies. Decreasing inventory allows reducing wastes which in turn results in saving lots of money.

There are many advantages of JIT:

  • Increases the work productivity
  • Reduces operating costs
  • Improves performance and throughput
  • Improves quality
  • Improves deliveries
  • Increases flexibility and innovativeness

For industrial organisations to remain competitive, cost efficiencies have become compulsory. JIT helps in this process. It is extended to the shop floor and also the inventory systems of the vendors. JIT has been extended to mean continuous improvement. These principles are being applied to the fields of Engineering, Purchasing, Accounting, and Data processing.

Characteristics of JIT

The consequent savings are to be utilised for reducing cost and rendering better service to the customer. Shigeo Shingo an authority on JIT at Toyota classifies the wastes to be eliminated as follows.

The seven wastes to be eliminated according to JIT are:

  • Over production
  • Inventory
  • Waiting time
  • Movement
  • Effort
  • Defective products
  • Over processing

1. Over production: Over production is to manufacture products before it is actually needed. If the demand for that product decreases, the extra parts or products produced may not be useful or needed. Also over production results in high storage costs and is also difficult to detect defects. So, over production is considered a waste.

2. Inventory: Excess procurement or production builds up stock of materials which are not immediately used, thus locking space and funds carrying heavy costs. The figure 13.2, illustrates the inventories at different levels of an organisation – Supplier distribution, Production, and Customer distribution.

3. Waiting time: Waste of time happen when goods are not moving or being processed. The operator, the machine or the part will either be not working or be worked upon. The duration of waiting is can be said to be unproductive and may create more serious consequences.

4. Movement: Any unnecessary movement is a waste of energy; it causes blockages, disrupting movements and delaying the flow of other items creating delays.

5. Effort: The people, who work, do not make a study as to how the products on which they are making are utilised and do not realise the purpose for which they are made. This lack of education will lead to waste of resources. Finally, they end up in shortage of resources when needed.

6. Defective products: The defective products lead to a tremendous loss to the company. This is because they use up the same equipments, workmen and the time that would be used to make good products. Thus defective products use up resources and result in losses.

7. Over Processing: Some steps like unnecessary processing or production do not add value to the final output. As a result, it is waste of all the inputs that go into the process.

MB0044 : Explain the steps involved in Johnson’s Algorithm and CDS Algorithm.

Answer : Johnson’s algorithm of sequencing

Johnson’s algorithm is used for sequencing of n jobs through two work centres. The purpose is to minimise idle time on machines and reduce the total time taken for completing all the jobs.

As there are no priority rules since all job have equal priority, sequencing the jobs according to the time taken may minimise the idle time taken by the jobs on machines. This reduces the total time taken.

The algorithm can be fulfilled in the following steps.

  • Step 1: Find the minimum among the time taken by machine 1 and 2 for all the jobs.
  • Step 2a: If the minimum processing time is required by machine 1 to complete the job, place the associated job in the first available position in the final sequence. Then go to step 3. (If it is a tie you may choose either of them, for applying the above rule.)
  • Step 2b: If the minimum processing time is required by machine 2 to complete the job, place the associated job in the last available position in final sequence. Then go to step 3. (If it is a tie you may choose either of them, for applying the above rule.)
  • Step 3: Remove the assigned job from consideration and return to step 1 until all the positions in the sequence are filled.

CDS algorithm for n jobs on m machines

CDS algorithm was given by Campbell, Dudek and Smith. It is used to find the optimal sequence of the jobs to be followed when there are m numbers of machines. We do this by converting the m number of machines to 2. This is done by considering different combinations – like 1 and m, then 1+2 and (M-1)+M, then 1+2+3 and (M-2)+(M-1)+M, and so on. This gives m-1 sequences and we can choose the most optimal among them by calculating the time taken by each of the obtained m-1 sequences.

The sequence that takes the minimum time will be the most optimal job order sequence according to the CDA algorithm. This process is useful, when the number of machines is small but more than 2.

In order to calculate the time taken by each of the sequences obtained, we have to calculate the time-in and time-out of the jobs in the sequence for each machine. In order to calculate this, consider the sequence in case let 1 and follow the following steps.

Remember that except for M1, other machines may have to wait to start their operations, until the previous operation is over. You have to include idle times at the beginning, middle or the end. So the initial value, which is the time-in under machine 1 for the first job in the sequence, will be zero. The time-in for the further jobs will be Maximum of (the time-out of the previous job in the sequence under the same machine, the time-out of the next job in the sequence under the previous machine).

Time-out of a machine = Time-in of that machine (from the previous step) + The original time taken by the job under the respective machine.

MB0044 : Discuss the Modern trends in Project Management. Write a note on macro issues of project management.
Answer : Modern Trends in Project Management

There are a number of ways a manager can implement a project successfully. As it is important to monitor and control the project activities throughout various stages, it becomes much more important to resort to effective and powerful tools to coordinate the activities. Modern trends in project management have shown a number of ways that can be considered to achieve good results in any project. Irrespective of whichever way one wants to choose for effective outputs, the essential methods are as follows:

  • meticulous planning of all the activities
  • referring to checklist which could have been creatively designed
  • adopting quality control measures and standards

Perception

As per the current trends in project management, the perception is that the job of a manger is to obtain result. A more result-cum-profit oriented corporate strategy lays greater emphasis on maximised efficiency of operations.

Corporate strategic tools in project management

a. Continuous Business Process Improvement: Continuous business improvement is a process through which a project team passes on the details of any system as recommendation for standardisation. It acts as a business process element for the company as a whole.

b. Force Field Analysis: The analysis is done by adopting suitable methods to identify external factors which may affect the project progress. The external factors are the hurdles in a project. Use of appropriate processes minimises and eliminates the hurdles resulting in a smooth flow of activities and project progress.

c. Information Risk Management: Various methods can be adopted to reduce the risks in a project. A proper methodology is one that is based on the quality control aspect which may even be automated and integrated into the project process. The risks arising out of corruption, age, field size variation and format mismatch have to be controlled.

d. Management Assurance Measure: Management assurance measure is a task performed by the project leader to convince management against wavering. At the same time, it aims at preparing team members to counter any unexpected storms in the project. This is the greatest opportunity for a leader to mature and go up the ladder as well as an equal opportunity for the member to emerge a leader through accepting a challenge.

e. SEI-CMM & ISO Certification: SEI-CMM & ISO Certification is a well established certification system. An organisation having a certification will enable the management team to realise the importance of a process and how effectively projects could be managed smoothly. Several world organisations, are now working on P-CMM and total quality assurance.

f. Strategic Inflection Point: A real test for the project leader and the management team is to accurately predict the exact point of the development process where the team might face a massive problem. These points may be related to political, geophysical and rarely to time.

Macro issues

The macro issues of the project management are listed below:

  • Evolving Key Success Factors (KSF) upfront
  • Empowerment Title (ET)
  • Partnering Decision Making (PDM)
  • Management by Exception (MBE)
  • Knowledge (K) Factor

Evolving Key Success Factors (KSF) upfront

In order to provide complete stability to fulfilment of goals, a project manager needs to constantly evaluate the key success factors from time to time.

Empowerment Title (ET)

ET reflects the relative importance of members of the organisation at three levels – Team members, Group leaders, and Managers.

Partnering Decision Making (PDM)

PDM is a substitute to monitoring and control. A senior, with a better decision making process, will work closely with the project managers and members of the project. The whole crew will plan together to find out what best can be done to manage the future better from past experience.

Management by Exception (MBE)

“No news is good news”. If a member wants help he or she locates a source and proposes to the manager only if such help is not accessible for free. Similarly, a member should believe that a team leader’s silence is a sign of approval and should not provoke comments through excessive seeking of opinions.

Knowledge (K) Factor

Knowledge is the most powerful mover of the wheels of progress. Knowledge (K) factor is an index of the extent to which one can manage today with yesterdays knowledge content and also the extent to which today’s knowledge will be used tomorrow.

MA0044  : What is Value Engineering? Give a real life example of application of VE.  
Answer : Value Engineering (VE) or Value Analysis is a methodology by which we try to find substitutes for a product or an operation.

The concept of value engineering originated during the Second World War. It was developed by the General Electric Corporations (GEC). Value Engineering has gained popularity due to its potential for gaining high Returns on Investment (ROI). This methodology is widely used in business re-engineering, government projects, automakers, transportation and distribution, industrial equipment, construction, assembling and machining processes, health care and environmental engineering, and many others. Value engineering process calls for a deep study of a product and the purpose for which it is used, such as, the raw materials used; the processes of transformation; the equipment needed, and many others. It also questions whether what is being used is the most appropriate and economical. This applies to all aspects of the product.

Simplification of processes reduces the cost of manufacturing. Every piece of material and the process should add value to the product so as to render the best performance. Thus, there is an opportunity at every stage of the manufacturing and delivery process to find alternatives which will increase the functionality or reduce cost in terms of material, process, and time.

The different aspects of value engineering can be encapsulated into a sequence of steps known as a ‘Job Plan’. Value Engineering in organisations helps to identify:

  • The problem or situation that needs to be changed/improved
  • All that is good about the existing situation
  • The improvements required in the situation
  • The functions to be performed
  • The ways of performing each function
  • The best ways among the selected functions
  • The steps to be followed to implement the function
  • The person who executes the function

It should be remembered that we are not seeking a cost reduction sacrificing quality. It has been found that there will be an improvement in quality when systematic value analysis principles are employed.

Examples of Value Engineering

  • Russian liquid-fuel rocket motors are intentionally designed to permit ugly (though leak-free) welding. This reduces costs by eliminating grinding and finishing operations that do not help the motor function better.
  • Some Japanese disk brakes have parts toleranced to three millimeters, an easy-to-meet precision. When combined with crude statistical process controls, this assures that less than one in a million parts will fail to fit.
  • Many vehicle manufacturers have active programs to reduce the numbers and types of fasteners in their product, to reduce inventory, tooling and assembly costs.
  • Often a premium forming process (like “near net shape” forming) can eliminate hundreds of low-precision machining or drilling steps. Precision transfer stamping can quickly produce hundreds of high quality parts from generic rolls of steel and aluminum. Die casting is used to produce metal parts from aluminum or sturdy tin alloys (they’re often about as strong as mild steels). Plastic injection molding is a powerful technique, especially if the part’s special properties are supplemented with inserts of brass or steel.
  • When a product incorporates a computer, it replaces many parts with software that fits into a single light-weight, low-power memory part or microcontroller. As computers grow faster, digital signal processing software is beginning to replace many analog electronic circuits for audio and sometimes radio frequency processing.
  • On some printed circuit boards (itself a producibility technique), the conductors are intentionally sized to act as delay lines, resistors and inductors to reduce the parts count. An important recent innovation was to eliminate the leads of “surface mounted” components. At one stroke, this eliminated the need to drill most holes in a printed cricuit board, as well as clip off the leads after soldering.
  • In Japan (the land where manufacturing engineers are most valued), it is a standard process to design printed circuit boards of inexpensive phenolic resin and paper, and reduce the number of copper layers to one or two to lower costs without harming specifications.

MA0044 : Explain the various phases in project management life cycle. List the Domain Applications of SCM and the steps involved in implementation of SCM.

Answers : Phases of project management life cycle

Project management life cycle has six phases:

  • Analysis and evaluation phase
  • Marketing phase
  • Design phase
  • Execution phase
  • Control – inspecting, testing, and delivery phase
  • Closure and post completion analysis phase

Analysis and evaluation phase

Analysis and evaluation phase is the initial phase of any project. In this phase, information is collected from the customer pertaining to the project. From the collected information, the requirements of the project are analysed. According to the customer requirement, the entire project is planned in a strategic manner. The project manager conducts the analysis of the problem and submits a detailed report to the top management.

Marketing phase

A project proposal is prepared by a group of people including the project manager. This proposal has to contain the strategies adopted to market the product to the customers.

Design phase

Design phase involves the study of inputs and outputs of the various project stages

  • Inputs received consist of: project feasibility study, preliminary project evaluation details, project proposal, and customer interviews.
  • Outputs produced consist of: system design specifications, functional specifications of the project, design specifications of the project, and project plan.

Execution phase

In execution phase, the project manager and the team members work on the project objectives as per the plan. At every stage during the execution, reports are prepared.

Control – inspecting, testing and delivery phase

During this phase, the project team works under the guidance of the project manager. The project manager has to ensure that the team working under him is implementing the project designs accurately. The project has to be tracked or monitored through its cost, manpower, and schedule. The project manager has to ensure ways of managing the customer and marketing the future work, as well as ways to perform quality control work.

Closure and post completion analysis phase

Upon satisfactory completion and delivery of the intended product or service the staff performance has to be evaluated. The project manager has to document the lessons from the project. Reports on project feedback are to be prepared and analysed. A project execution report is to be prepared.

Domain Applications

SCM can be easily applied and integrated with:

  • ERP systems
  • Design systems like auto-CAD, Pro-E
  • R&D systems
  • ISO 9000 systems
  • Accounting and financial systems
  • Costing systems
  • Manufacturing systems

SCM implementation involves the certain steps:

  • Study the strengths and weaknesses within the enterprise as well as of external agencies involved.
  • Understand the organisation objectives.
  • Study the existing systems and identify the gaps and propose solutions to plug the loopholes.
  • Evolve consensus and test fire individual solutions
  • Integrate solutions which are adjudged successfully into the mainstream.
  • Study overall impact after all proposals in a section are implemented, review consensus.
  • Finalise SCM document, circulate, and implement the same

MB0044  : Define project cycle, project management, and scope of project. List the various project management knowledge areas? What are the reasons for failure of a project?

Answer: – Project cycle

A project cycle consists of the various activities of operations, resources, and the limitations imposed on them.

Project management:-

It is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavour with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.

Project Scope:-

The project scope is the definition of what the project is supposed to accomplish and the budget of both time and money that has been created to achieve these objectives.

Best results are achieved when both the definition and the budget are precise and detailed. A good project scope document defines specifically what tasks are to be performed or results delivered. It defines the specific date when these deliverables are due and lists the budget allocated for them.

 

Project management knowledge areas

The knowledge areas of project management are the following:

· Project integration management, cost management, communications management

· Project scope management, quality management, risk management

· Project time management, human management, procurement management

For a project to be successful, it is necessary to understand its relationship with other management disciplines. Other management supporting disciplines are business legal issues, strategic planning, logistics, human resource management, and domain knowledge.

Project failure

A project may fail because of one or more of the following reasons:

· Incidence of project failure

· Factors contributing to project success not emphasised

· Overview of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) projects

· Common problems encountered during projects

The reasons for the failure of a project in detail:-

Incidence of project failure: The incidents of project failure are due to following reasons:

  1. Projects being initiated at random at all levels
  2. Project objective not in line with business objective
  3. Project management not observed
  4. Project manager with no prior experience in the related project
  5. Non-dedicated team
  6. Lack of complete support from clients

Factors contributing to project success not emphasised:

  1. Project objective in alignment with business objective
  2. Working within the framework of project management methodology
  3. Effective scoping, planning, estimation, execution, controls and reviews, closure intertwined with quality
  4. Proactive approach towards project bottlenecks
  5. Communication and managing expectations effectively with clients, team members, and stake holders
  6. Prior experience of project manager in a similar project

 Overview of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) projects:

  1. Involve information and communications technologies such as the World Wide Web, e-mail, fiber-optics, and satellites
  2. Enable societies to produce, access, adapt and apply information in greater amounts, more rapidly and at reduced costs
  3. Offer enormous opportunities for enhancing business and economic viability

 Common problems encountered during projects:

  1. No prioritisation of project activity from an organisational position
  2. One or more of the stages in the project mishandled
  3. Less qualified/non-dedicated manpower
  4. Absence of smooth flow of communication between the involved parties.

MB0044  : Write a brief note on PDCA cycle, Juran’s Quality Trilogy and Crosby’s Absolutes of Quality. List all the Quality Tools.
 

Answer: – PDCA cycle:-

Plan–Do–Check–Act Cycle Also called: PDCA, plan–do–study–act (PDSA) cycle, Deming cycle, Shewhart cycle.

Description

The plan–do–check–act cycle is a four-step model for carrying out change. Just as a circle has no end, the PDCA cycle should be repeated again and again for continuous improvement.

When to Use Plan-Do-Check-Act

  • As a model for continuous improvement.
  • When starting a new improvement project.
  • When developing a new or improved design of a process, product or service.
  • When defining a repetitive work process.
  • When planning data collection and analysis in order to verify and prioritize problems or root causes.
  • When implementing any change.

Plan-Do-Check-Act Procedure

  1. Plan. Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.
  2. Do. Test the change. Carry out a small-scale study.
  3. Study. Review the test, analyze the results and identify what you’ve learned.
  4. Act. Take action based on what you learned in the study step: If the change did not work, go through the cycle again with a different plan. If you were successful, incorporate what you learned from the test into wider changes. Use what you learned to plan new improvements, beginning the cycle again.
Juran’s quality triology

Juran uses his famous Universal Breakthrough Sequence to implement quality programmes. The universal breakthrough sequences are:

  1. Proof of need: There should be a compelling need to make changes.
  2. Project identification: Here what is to be changed is identified. Specific projects with time frames and the resource allocation are decided.
  3. Top management commitment: Commitment of the top management is to assign people and fix responsibilities to complete the project
  4. Diagnostic journey: Each team will determine whether the problems result from systemic causes or are random or are deliberately caused. Root causes are ascertained with utmost certainty.
  5. Remedial action: This is the stage when changes are introduced. Inspection, testing, and validation are also included at this point.
  6. Holding on to the gains: The above steps result in beneficiary results. Having records or all actions and consequences will help in further improvements. The actions that result in the benefits derived should be the norm for establishing standards.

Juran has categorised cost of quality into four categories:

1. Failure costs – Internal: These are costs of rejections, repairs in terms of materials, labour, machine time and loss of morale.

2. Failure costs – External: These are costs of replacement, on-site rework including   spare parts and expenses of the personnel, warranty costs and loss of goodwill.

3. Appraisal costs: These are costs of inspection, including maintenance of records, certification, segregation costs, and others.

4. Prevention costs: Prevention cost is the sequence of three sets of activities, Quality Planning, Quality Control, and Quality Improvement, forming the triology to achieve Total Quality Management.

Crosby’s absolutes of quality:-

Like Deming, Crosby also lays emphasis on top management commitment and responsibility for designing the system so that defects are not inevitable. He urged that there be no restriction on spending for achieving quality. In the long run, maintaining quality is more economical than compromising on its achievement. His absolutes can be listed as under:

  1. Quality is conformance to requirements, not ‘goodness’
  2. Prevention, not appraisal, is the path to quality
  3. Quality is measured as the price paid for non-conformance and as indices
  4. Quality originates in all factions. There are no quality problems. It is the people, designs, and processes that create problems

Crosby also has given 14 points similar to those of Deming. His approach emphasises on measurement of quality, increasing awareness, corrective action, error cause removal and continuously reinforcing the system, so that advantages derived are not lost over time. He opined that the quality management regimen should improve the overall health of the organisation and prescribed a vaccine. The ingredients are:

1) Integrity: Honesty and commitment help in producing everything right first time, every time

2) Communication: Flow of information between departments, suppliers, customers helps in identifying opportunities

3) Systems and operations: These should bring in a quality environment so that nobody is comfortable with anything less than the best.

Quality Tools:-

  1. Cause-and-effect diagram (also called Ishikawa or fishbone chart): Identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.
  2. Check sheet: A structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data; a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes.
  3. Control charts: Graphs used to study how a process changes over time.
  4. Histogram: The most commonly used graph for showing frequency distributions, or how often each different value in a set of data occurs.
  5. Pareto chart: Shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant.
  6. Scatter diagram: Graphs pairs of numerical data, one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship.
  7. Stratification: A technique that separates data gathered from a variety of sources so that patterns can be seen (some lists replace “stratification” with “flowchart” or “run chart”).

MBA0044  : Explain the different factors influencing plant location. Write a brief note on Product layout with an example.

Answer: – Factors influencing plant location:-

1. Nature of the product: The nature of the product to be manufactured will significantly affect the layout of the plant. Stationary layout will be most suitable for heavy products while line layout will be best for the manufacture for the light products because small and light products can be moved from one machine to another very easily and, therefore, more attention can be paid to machine locations can be paid to machine locations and handling of materials.

2. Volume of production: Volume of production and the standardization of the product also affect the type of layout. If standardized commodities are to be manufactured on large scale, line type of layout may be adopted.

3. Basic managerial policies and decisions: The type of layout depends very much on the decisions and policies of the management to be followed in producing the commodity with regard to the size of plant, kind and quality of the product, scope for expansion to be provided for, the extent to which the plant is  to be integrated, amount of stocks to be carried at anytime, the kind of employee facilities to be provided etc.

4. Nature of plant location: The size shape and topography of the site at which the plant is located will naturally  affect the type of layout to be followed in view of the maximum utilization of the space available .For e.g., if a site is near the railway line the arrangement of general layout for receiving and shipping and for the best flow of production in and out the plant may be made by the side of the railway lines .If space is narrow and the production process is lengthy, the layout of plant may be arranged on the land surface in the following manner:

5. Type of industry process: This is one of the most important factors influencing the choice of type of plant layout. Generally the types of layout particularly the arrangement of machines and work centers and the location of workmen vary according to the nature of the industry to which the plant belongs. For the purpose of lay out, industry may be classified into two broad categories:

(i) Intermittent and (ii) continuous. Intermittent type of industries is those, which manufacture different component or different machines.

Such industries may manufacture the parts, when required according to the market needs. Examples of such industries are shipbuilding plants. In this type of industry functional layout may be the best. The second type of industry in ‘continuous industry. in this type of industry raw material are fed at one end and the finished goods are received at another end. A continuous industry may either be analytical or synthetic. A analytical industry breaks up the raw material into several parts during the course of production process or changes its form, e.g. oil and sugar refineries. A synthetic industry on the other hand mixes the two or more materials to manufacture one product along with the process of production or assembles several parts to get finished product. Cement and automobiles industries are the examples of such industry. Line layout is more suitable in continuous process industries.

6. Types of methods of production: Layout plans may be different according to the method of production proposed to be adopted. Any of the following three methods may be adopted for production- (1) Job order production, (2) batch production, and (3) mass production. Under job production goods are produced according to the orders of the customers and therefore, specification vary from customer to customer and the production cannot be standardized. The machines and equipment can be arranged in a manner to suit the need of all types of customers. Batch production carries the production of goods in batches or group at intervals. In this type of manufacturing the product is standardized and production is made generally in anticipation of sales. In such cases functional or process layout may be adopted. In case of mass production of standardized goods, line layout is most suitable form of plant layout.

7. Nature of machines: Nature of machines and equipment also affects the layout of plants. If machines are heavy in weight or create noisy atmosphere, stationery layout may reasonably be adopted. Heavy machines are generally fixed on the ground floor. Ample space should be provided for complicated machines to avoid accidents.

8. Climate: Sometimes, temperature, illumination and air are the deciding factors in the location of machines and their establishments. For example, in lantern manufacturing industry, the spray-painting room is built along the factory wall to ensure the required temperature control and air expulsion and the process of spray painting may be undertaken.

9.Nature of material: Design and specification of materials, quantity and quality of materials and combination of materials are probably the most important factors to be considered in planning a layout. So, materials storage, space, volume and weight of raw materials, floor load capacity, ceiling height, method of storing etc. should be given special consideration. This will affect the space and the efficiency of the production process in the plant. It will facilitate economic production of goods and prompt materials flow and soundly conceived materials handling system.

10. Type of machine: Machines and equipment may be either general purpose or special purpose. In addition certain tools are used. The requirements of each machine and equipment are quite different in terms of their space; speed and material handling process and these factors should be given proper consideration while choosing out a particular type of layout. This should also be considered that each machine and equipment is used to its fullest capacity because machines involve a huge investment. For instance, under product layout, certain machines may not be used to their full capacity so care should be taken to make full use of the capacity of the machines and equipment.

12. Human factor and working conditions: Men are the most important factor of production and therefore special consideration for their safety and comforts should be given while planning a layout, specific safety items like obstruction-free floor, workers not exposed to hazards, exit etc. should be provided for. The layout should also provide for the comforts to the workers such as provision of rest rooms, drinking water and other services etc. sufficient space is also to be provided for free movement of workers.

13. Characteristics of the building: Shape of building, covered and open area, number of storeys, facilities of elevators, parking area and so on also influence the layout plan. In most of the cases where building is hired, layout is to be adjusted within the spaces available in the building. Although minor modification may be done to suit the needs of the plants and equipment. But if any building is to be constructed, proper care should be given to construct it according to the layout plan drawn by experts. Special type of construction is needed to accommodate huge or technical or complex or sophisticated machines and equipment.

Product layout

Product layout is also called as production lines or assembly lines. They are designed and laid out in such a way that only a few products are capable of being manufactured or assembled. Materials flow through the various facilities. These use special machines to perform specific operations to produce only one product at one time. So, companies should set different set of machines for different products. Workers perform a narrow range of activities to complete the operations on the product as it moves in a flow line. The operation times, the sequence of movements and routing procedures are highly standardised to meet production requirements which are synchronised with many such products to complete finished goods to meet demands. Using special machines and implementing standardisation in operations have many advantages which are listed below:

  1. The skill required of the workers is low
  2. Supervision is minimal
  3. Training needs are small
    1. Precautions to be taken are:
    2. Constant check on the processes needs to be performed so that quality is assured.
    3. Corrective measures have to be implemented immediately to avoid rejections, since, the quantities that get manufactured will be continuous.
    4. Check for the behavioural attitude of the worker. As jobs are repetitive, workers tend to be bored and lose concentration. This may affect productivity and quality.

Product Layout Example: – Let consider an example of Work allocation at an airport

Activity

Average time, seconds

1. Deplane

20

2. Immigration

16

3. Baggage claim

40

4. Customs

24

5. Check baggage

18

6. Board domestic flight

15

 

 

MBA0044  : Differentiate between Automated flow line and automated assembly line with example. Write a note on Rapid Prototyping.
Answer: – Automated flow lines:

When several automated machines are linked by a transfer system which moves the parts by using handling machines which are also automated, we have an automated flow line. After completing an operation on a machine, the semi finished parts are moved to the next machine in the sequence determined by the process requirements a flow line is established. The parts at various stages from raw material to ready for fitment or assembly are processed continuously to attain the required shapes or acquire special properties to enable them to perform desired functions. The materials need to be moved, held, rotated, lifted, positioned etc. for completing different operations.
Sometimes, a few of the operations can be done on a single machine with a number of attachments. They are moved further to other machines for performing further operations. Human intervention may be needed to verify that the operations are taking place according to standards. When these can be achieved with the help of automation and the processes are conducted with self regulation, we will have automated flow lines established.

One important consideration is to balance times that different machines take to complete the operations assigned to them. It is necessary to design the machines in such a way that the operation times are the same throughout the sequence in the flow of the martial. In fixed automation or hard automation, where one component is manufactured using several operations and machines it is possible to achieve this condition – or very nearly. We assume that product life cycles are sufficiently stable to invest heavily on the automated flow lines to achieve reduced cost per unit. The global trends are favouring flexibility in the manufacturing systems. The costs involved in changing the set up of automated flow lines are high. So, automated flow lines are considered only when the product is required to be made in high volumes over a relatively long period. Designers now incorporate flexibility in the machines which will take care of small changes in dimensions by making adjustments or minor changes in the existing machine or layout. The change in movements needed can be achieved by programming the machines. Provisions for extra pallets or tool holders or conveyors are made in the original design to accommodate anticipated changes. The logic to be followed is to find out whether the reduction in cost per piece justifies the costs of designing, manufacturing and setting up automated flow lines. Group Technology, Cellular Manufacturing along with conventional Product and Process Layouts are still resorted to as they allow flexibility for the production system.

With methodologies of JIT and Lean Manufacturing finding importance and relevance in the competitive field of manufacturing, many companies have found that well designed flow lines suit their purpose well. Flow lines compel engineers to put in place equipments that balance their production rates. It is not possible to think of inventories (Work
In Process) in a flow line. Bottlenecks cannot be permitted. By necessity, every bottleneck gets focused upon and solutions found to ease them. Production managers see every bottleneck as an opportunity to hasten the flow and reduce inventories. However, it is important to note that setting up automated flow lines will not be suitable for many industries

Automated Assembly Lines: All equipments needed to make a finished product are laid out in such a way as to follow the sequence in which the parts or subassemblies are put together and fitted. Usually, a frame, body, base will be the starting point of an assembly. The frame itself consists of a construction made up of several components and would have been ‘assembled’ or ‘fabricated’ in a separate bay or plant and brought to the assembly line. All parts or subassemblies are fitted to enable the product to be in readiness to perform the function it was designed to. This process is called assembly.

The material goes from station 1 to 5 sequentially. Operation 2 takes longer time, say twice as long. To see that the flow is kept at the same pace we provide two locations 2a and 2b so that operations 3, 4 and 5 need not wait. At 5, we may provide more personnel to complete operations. The time taken at any of the locations should be the same. Otherwise the flow is interrupted. In automated assembly lines the moving pallets move the materials from station to station and moving arms pick up parts, place them at specified places and fasten them by pressing, riveting, screwing or even welding. Sensors will keep track of these activities and move the assemblies to the next stage. An operator will oversee that the assemblies are happening and there are no stoppages. The main consideration for using automated assembly lines is that the volumes justify the huge expenses involved in setting up the system.

Rapid Prototyping: Prototyping is a process by which a new product is developed in small numbers so as to determine the suitability of the materials, study the various methods of manufacture, type of machinery required and to develop techniques to overcome problems that may be encountered when full scale manufacture is undertaken. Prototypes do meet the specifications of the components that enter a product and performance can be measured on those. It helps in confirming the design and any shortcomings can be rectified at low cost. If serious defects or problems arise during the manufacture, a thorough change in design or even its replacement may be considered. To arrive at decisions to make use of the advantages stated above, it is important that the prototypes are made within the shortest possible time. Rapid prototyping facilitates this. It uses virtual designs from Computer Aided Design – CAD or animation modelling which transforms dimensional data to 3dimensional views. The physical space of the product is amenable to have cross sections made.
Cross sections taken at very close positions gives thin layers which enable the generation of a solid model of the designed product. The data that is thus created helps build a solid model exactly as per the drawings. Any shape can be generated in this method. Advanced technologies like – SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), LOM (Laminated Object Manufacture), EBM (Electronic Beam Melting) are some of Rapid Prototype Modeling Processes.
Since the basis data about the product is already available in CAD, the above processes can produce models in a matter of a few days. Conventional machines like lathes, milling machines, grinding machines, EDM (Electro Discharge Machining) also help in the production of prototypes. Because of their advantages Rapid Prototyping is being increasingly used.

 MB0044 : What is Differentiation Strategies? Briefly explain tools used for implementation of Operations.
    Answer: – Differentiation Strategies:-

Differentiation is a process by which a company distinguishes itself from its competitors and their offerings. The process includes adding a set of differentiators which are meaningful and adds value for the customer. The differences should be perceived by the customer as important, distinctive, superior and affordable. Nonetheless, they have to make the company’s offerings i.e. the products and services profitable. To derive competitive advantage the study of the processes to adapt innovations which should be of such nature as being pre-emptive is important. Here, we are not considering the situation of an entirely new product but those which are already contributing to the company revenues and the threat of competitors has to be met. According to Miland Lele (Miland M.Lele, Creating Strategic Leverage: New York, John Wiley 1992) companies have different potential in terms of manoeuvrability along with target market, place (channels), promotion and price. These are affected by the company’s position in the market, the industry structure. BCG has classified (Philip Kotler) four types of industries and the approaches available, depending on the cell the particular industry fits into.

Tools for implementation of Operations:-
All functions in the organisation including administration, finance, materials, purchase, marketing, production, logistics, communication and others, can be considered operations. The reason is all of them use some inputs like materials or information either on a person to person basis or through a flow line. They are required to use some process and convert them into outputs usable in the next stage of the value chain. For example, when an invoice is received for payment, it contains information about a material or a service, the person who needed it, the price to be paid, the supplier, transportation, insurance, quantity, tax to be paid, etc. The bills payable section will have to verify data regarding the above, seek inspection reports from the quality control department/user department to certify the bill for payment. Before actual payment is made verification of the terms of payment, availability of funds etc are done You will notice that information is sought or given, materials received and transferred, papers/instructions are received / issued for initiating activities. All these are also operations. However, for our study we will limit our focus to operations involving manufacture. We identify a set of specialized techniques – call them tools which can be standardized for ease of implementation and control.

Implementation of Operations Implementation is the process of executing the planned operations. Estimating, routing and loading are the planning processes and dispatching and progressing are processes which are conducted while the manufacturing is going on. We call the former planning and the latter controlling function. Put together they are considered implementation. Estimating gives the quantities to be made at each workstation depending on the sales forecast, provision for buffer stock, quantities bought out, or services outsourced, likely shortfalls etc. It is done on the basis of capacity. The next step, routing, determines the sequence of operations and the machines that do them so that work flow as determined by the processes is smooth resulting in minimum inventory. Scheduling is mainly concerned with allocating time slots for different jobs. It specifies as to when jobs start and end at particular workstations. The purpose is to prevent imbalances among work centers and utilize labour hours in such a way that established lead times are maintained. Dispatching is concerned with actually moving the materials with tools, jigs and fixtures to specific machines along with drawings and ensuring inspections at specific nodes, so that the materials move in the supply chain, Expediting is mainly to ensure that all the above are being done properly. Reports are generated and any bottleneck that gets created is removed.

Tools for implementation GANTT charts are used to record progress comparing the actual against the planned activities and keep track of the flow of the material. Line balancing and line of balance are two more tools to ensure that machining centers are loaded as uniformly as possible to prevent build up stocks at intermediate stages. Simulation models are used to predict utilization of machines and production levels. Various inventory models help us to determine when to order and how many to order and also give us an insight to the risks and opportunities that come up for our consideration. Proper maintenance and analysis of records help us to see the gaps that have crept into the operations system. Learning that happens across functions will make the tools used more realistically and increase efficiency. Much ERP software, especially SAP have many modules
that store, sort and analyze data and make them available to the staff across the globe in many plants enabling managers to streamline their operations. Software specific to functions, applications or organization can be obtained. Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 is a useful tool in this regard.


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