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Manufacturing Process Optimization

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The Challenge

Redesign a significant portion of its refrigerator-linear final assembly process while maintaining production standards.

The Arena Solution

A manufacturing simulation model was developed using Arena. The highly-detailed model evaluated the dynamic flows of products through the system, including material handling as well as production operations. The high level of detail was required to capture the system sensitivities to the production operations in the system. The analysis clearly showed the amount of buffer space that was required for various production scenarios as well as for multiple equipment layouts. A detailed animation of the system provided validation of the model by displaying each liner as it traversed the system (including system bottlenecks), as well as the dynamic status of the buffers.

Results

By running an anticipated production schedule through the manufacturing simulation model, Arena was able to find a design with the optimal amount of buffer space as well as the minimum system resources necessary to meet production goals. Various cost trade-offs were calculated with the model, balancing equipment and conveyor costs versus production throughput and volume. 

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Background

A major manufacturer of household appliances produces a line of refrigerators.