Inventory parameter management and focused continuous improvement for repetitive batch manufacturers
What this thesis proposes is a methodology to assist repetitive batch manufacturers in the adoption of certain aspects of the Lean Production principles. The methodology concentrates on the reduction of inventory through the setting of appropriate batch sizes, taking account of the effect of sequence dependent set-ups and the identification and elimination of bottlenecks. It uses a simple Pareto and modified EBQ based analysis technique to allocate items to period order day classes based on a combination of each item's annual usage value and set-up cost. The period order day classes the items are allocated to are determined by the constraints limits in the three measured dimensions, capacity, administration and finance. The methodology overcomes the limitations associated with MRP in the area of sequence dependent set-ups, and provides a simple way of setting planning parameters taking this effect into account by concentrating on the reduction of inventory through the systematic identification and elimination of bottlenecks through set-up reduction processes, so allowing batch sizes to reduce. It aims to help traditional repetitive batch manufacturers in a route to continual improvement by: Highlighting those areas where change would bring the greatest benefits. Modelling the effect of proposed changes. Quantifying the benefits that could be gained through implementing the proposed changes. Simplifying the effort required to perform the modelling process. It concentrates on increasing flexibility through managed inventory reduction through rationally decreasing batch sizes, taking account of sequence dependent set-ups and the identification and elimination of bottlenecks. This was achieved through the development of a software modelling tool, and validated through a case study approach.