An Industrial Member who manufactured roll bars and cages for the motorsport industry profited from a computerised factory simulation which brought many benefits at virtually no capital cost, not least by cutting manufacturing lead time in half.
TWI created a computer simulation model of their factory and operating practices using an advanced software package. Changes to manufacturing procedures were quickly tested using this system, and the effects on lead-time quantified. Recommendations were made to reduce batch size to a maximum of five; implement a KANBAN or pull system for production control, and stop rescheduling orders once on the shop floor. This would lead to a manufacturing lead time of 3-4 days for a batch of five roll cages and less than a day for a single cage, compared with 2.5 weeks in the old system.
In practice, TWI's use of the simulation package allowed the company to make cost effective and accurate forecasts of their manufacturing operations. Coupled with the commitment of management and workforce, the following benefits were quickly achieved: