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Shop Floor Control - Part 2 of 5

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3  Part 4  Part 5

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Lean Manufacturing



Early manufacturing philoso­phies (manufacture to EOQ) en­couraged large lots (volume) to control manufacturing costs. These large runs do lower direct manufacturing cost but often have an adverse reaction to customer service, smooth manufacturing load, and inventory. (See Figuro I.)

Early attempts to level load manufacturing without lot sizing had varied results. Labor utilization clearly improved results. But customer service and inventory did not show dramatic improvement.

The mixed-model scheduling approach provided a breakthrough in thinking. Make a little of everything, every day. The plant now could be level loaded, with lots frequently produced providing good customer service, while inventory was kept to a minimum. (Sce"Eigttnr3.)

However, in order for pure mixed-model scheduling to work setup times and ordering costs must be dra­matically reduced. Costs will rise and nonproductive machine capacity will be impacted.


Certainly, most companies must optimize inventory investment manufacturing efficiency and customerser­vice. However, reducing setup costs and order costs are formidable challenges to most companies. Setup reduction can take years implementing. Using advanced ap­proaches to business rules and ABC analysis, many companies can implement a modified approach to se­lecting an ideal factory model for scheduling.


There are well-defined steps to integrating your companies thought ware and software. Significant time must be spent organizing for such an effort. The steps listed below will need to be modified for different types of manufac­turing technologies. We will discuss a modified approach to establishing a mixed-model scheduling process:

1.         Prepare ABC analysis.

2.    Combine like items (product family—customer

3.    Identify business rules for customer service levels.

4.    Develop inventory and shop floor philosophy.

       -       Lead time

         -       Lot sizes

         -       Safety stock 

5.    Communicate with supply chain.

6.         Develop setup matrix.

7.         Develop order launch rules (priority planning).

8.    Develop manufacturing loading strategies. 

       -       Certain products to certain lines

       -       Standard setup tools for "A" items

       -       Load leveling/final assembly scheduling rules

9.   Develop customer allocation matrix.

10.        Load software order modifiers.

11.   Document all rules.

12.   Manage all exception messages.

13.        Post implementation review (quarterly).

Let's discuss some of these items in more detail.


Part 1  Part 2   Part 3  Part 4  Part 5

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