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Cycle Time Reduction of a Composite Panel Manufacturing Line

Surendar Bandi1 and Ron Lumia2
1.Advanced Composite Structures, LLC 1026 Legrand Blvd, Charleston SC 29492
2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, MSC01-1150, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131

Abstract—This paper presents a solution for increasing the production capacity of a composite panel manufacturing line. A Unit Load Device (ULD) manufacturing company wants to increase its composite panel production capacity by at least 30% to meet anticipated demand. The manufacturing floor setup is modeled in Extend factory simulation software and analyzed for bottlenecks. Time and motion studies are captured for all the workstations and used in the simulation model. The bottleneck station is identified and several alternative configurations are proposed and simulated using Extend to minimize the cycle time. Cost analysis of each alternative is performed to justify an economical solution. The Net Present Value (NPV) method along with breakeven analysis is used in the cost analysis to validate the optimal solution. Three configurations are highlighted in this paper that meet the desired cycle time. Configuration A proved to be an optimal solution out of the three eligible configurations analyzed with 38.8% increase in production capacity, a high NPV of $3,950,830 over a period of five years and requires least number of ULDs (991 units) to break-even.

Index Terms—Unit load device, Line cycle time, Extend simulation, Production capacity

Cite: Surendar Bandi and Ron Lumia, "Cycle Time Reduction of a Composite Panel Manufacturing Line," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 189-203, April 2013.