6/10/18 5:40 PM
One of the first steps in planning for a manufacturing or production operation is finding the most sensible and efficient layout and equipment possible per your budget. Without a simulation or proper modeling, startup can be a blind trial by fire where choosing a suitable system may seem like a virtual guessing game. As technology has advanced, simulations and modeling have now allowed for production facilities to be able to formally enable a pre-flight test of flow attributes that operations managers consider to be the most vital.
With production simulations, creating a computerized model of a manufacturing system is becoming essential for manufacturing operations to be able to become successful. Simulations accounts for various attributes such as capital investments and performance. With capital investments, the tool utilizes the data at hand and analyzes the effects it would have on capital attributes such as warehouses, equipment, factories, etc. These help production facilities lower investing risk and further enable them to save money and focus on places that are needed.
Simulations also are able to present performance models, which gives a variety of options and alternatives to an operation. Simulation software can supply foresight into an implemented, or planned addition or modification that is to be implemented, providing an overall, up front, analysis on the performance of the system. KPIs are used for baseline metrics in simulation and modeling scenarios. Using KPIs allows for a comparison of performance expectations against the options and alternatives available. Also, it lends well to decision-making and problem solving in finding the most advantageous solution to the operation. With performance and investment being the structural components of simulations, production facilities are easily able to weigh out the pros and cons of plant layout and the various systems already implemented, or to be implemented.
Along with the perks of locating performance enhancement scenarios, a proper simulation can result in bottleneck reduction or elimination, management of financial risks and a foretelling of the total measurement of impact that a newly-configured production line can yield. Attainable measurements generally include the following:
As these measurements show the overall performance of the system, productions facilities will be able to locate areas that experience low productivity and further enhance overall production throughout the operation.
Advanced planning and scheduling (APS) systems allow for simulations to be created within the software. With generation of different schedules and “what-if scenarios”, this will simulate what needs to be done in case of mishaps such as mechanical failures or staff shortages. Instead of having management utilize their time trying to find a solution to a problem, APS can already account for it. As production facilities around the globe are implementing APS, this system is becoming the solution for minimizing waste, enhancing throughput, and optimizing production.