Consider the following process flow diagram for bread-making…

Question:

Consider the following process flow diagram for bread-making. The raw material is made into bread (at a speed of 40 breads/hr) and then packed (at a speed of 30 breads/hr) and put in finished goods inventory. There is a work-in-process (WIP) buffer with unlimited space between Bread-making and Packing.

a. What is process bottleneck and capacity?
b. If WIP is removed from the system, which machine is blocked and which one is starved?
c. Suppose the Packing machine runs 24 hrs per day. How long should the Bread-making machine run per day to achieve the highest shirt production per day?
d. Using your answer in Part c, what is the average inventory in WIP? How long does it take on average for some raw material to be processed into a pack of bread?

Answer:

a. Basically The bottleneck of the process is the Packing section since this section creates lesser output than the section immediately before it i.e. Bread making.

b. In the given scenario, bread is made at a speed of 40 breads/hr. However, the packing is done only at a speed of 30 breads/hr. If the WIP buffer is removed, then the bread making process will be blocked as the bread will accumulate because it cannot be packed at the same rate it is produced or supplied to the packing step.

c. In 24 hours the packing machine produces, 30*24= 720 breads

For the Bread making machine, in order to produce 720 breads it takes 720/ 40= 18 hours.

Hence the bread making machine will run only 18 hours per day.

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