This project deals with the production process of Faes Cases business unit. This company is producing custom-made packaging and sells standard solutions with customized interior. During the last years, it was observed that the throughput time of the production is increasing and is hard to forecast and control it. This results in a number of problems concerning production planning and deliveries. In order to change this situation, Faes Cases has initiated projects to develop operational excellence. One of these is the Norm-times project; its purpose is to develop a forecast system that will give the production time needed for every new incoming order; this is the norm-time of an order. The challenge in this project is that almost every order is unique. To develop such a system, the current ways of working and the current performance of the company were thoroughly analyzed. Moreover, the production process and the followed practices from the employees were carefully observed. The analysis verified and quantified the problems of the company. It also provided a very good understanding of the situation in Faes Cases and enabled us to identify the root causes of the problems. The study continued with the analysis of historical data (of 2007) of production orders. Correlations between certain parameters of the orders and the production time were identified. Models that estimate a norm-time for an order based on these parameters were then derived. These models were validated using a different set of observations (2008 data) and finally their performance was compared against that of the old estimate system. This comparison showed an improvement in the estimate accuracy of about 50%. Besides the developed models, in this project we propose a way to use these models to provide feedback and reduce the currently observed variability of the production times by enabling better understanding of the production process and its problems. Finally, an on-going improvement framework, that has the developed models at its core and is complemented by appropriate information feedback loops, is designed. During the development of the design, implementability issues were also considered. Finally, a demo tool in MS Excel was built. This tool implements the forecast models and enables monitoring of the improvement progress. The integration of this tool in the IT system of the company had already started before the end of this project. This design is expected to allow Faes Cases to better understand and control their production process. Consequently it will allow them to reduce their production times and thus their throughput times. As a result they will be able to produce more using the same capacity and increase their compliance to the delivery dates they agree with their customers.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||1 Jan 2008|
|Place of Publication||Eindhoven|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|