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c

In general the planning of 6

requires the solution of three problems:

1.| À

6

i.e. the quantity of items or customers to be processed at

one time.

2.| c

i.e. the determination of the order in which batches of different items

or customers will be processed.

3.| c

i.e. the timing of the processing of batches of items or customers.

The critical problem in batch production is a question of control i.e. that of ensuring that orders

progress as planned. Batch production is often undertaken for a customer delivery promise

whereas mass production plans can be made because of fewer products and the use of specially

designed equipment. Here deviations from plans can mostly be caused by mechanical

breakdowns. With batch production interaction between jobs is less certain as is the completion

time of each operation (since time is not standardised variations in element times occur).

Problems regarding batch production can occur for a multiplicity of reasons such as machine

breakdown quality problems (need for re-working) material movement (causing loss or

damage) operator performance (varies because of the manufacture of different batches) variable

queuing time and tooling availability.

1.| À

6

Batch quantities which are too large will result in high stock levels and cause a large amount of

capital to be tied up in stock which might otherwise be invested elsewhere. Additionally unduly

high stock levels will incur other costs such as the cost of stock-keeping insurance

depreciation etc. on the other hand batch quantities which are too small will result in both low

stock levels which may be insufficient to meet large fluctuations in demand and also the

frequent processing of small batches each time incurring costs associated with set-up ordering

etc.

that minimises total costs; consequently

we must consider the following:

b.| Processing

c.| ^et-up and preparation of machines and equipment.

These are reflected in a formula which gives us the µminimum cost batch size¶ (E.O.Q.) or

(E.B.Q.).

EBQ = ¥ 2Cs R

²²-

C1

This formula assumes a static and deterministic situation i.e. one in which both processing and

consumption rates are known and constant.

The minimum cost batch size and its associated total cost are shown in the following diagram.

From this we can see that the bigger the batch size the higher would be the stock holding costs.

However set-up and preparation costs will decrease as the batch increases. By adding these two

costs together we can derive the total cost. The batch size corresponding to the minimum total

cost will be the optimal batch size.

Because of the frequent difficulty of accurately establishing costs such as Cs C1 Eilon has

developed a procedure for the determination of an acceptable processing range which is

dependent upon knowing the allowable increase in the total variable costs of production. ^ince

the T.C. curve is fairly flat in the region of minimum cost the total variable cost is not terribly

sensitive to deviations from optimal batch size. It is possible therefore to adopt a batch size

which differs slightly from the optimal without incurring substantially increased costs. Batch

quantities within this production range are considered as acceptable. In the diagram above

management will be willing to process batch sizes which fall between the production range of

Q1 and Q2.

Although the compromise on the optimal batch size is acceptable it still suffers certain

shortcomings. For example no mention has been made to the selling price of items since a

minimum cost batch size can be determined without reference to selling cost or profit. One might

agree that other criteria for batch size determination should be adopted and indeed many other

treatments of the batch size determination problem exist which depend upon criteria such as

profit maximisation of µreturn¶ (ratio of profit to cost of production) maximisation of rate of

return etc. many computer programmes have included these additional data.

2.| c

Very often the order or sequence in which the different items are to be processed will be

determined either by the process itself or by the setting-up or preparation requirement for each

item. For example in a paint-manufacturing process it is desirable to manufacture lighter colours

first and darker colours later. In such cases the only problems to be solved are the desirable

length of the complete manufacturing cycle (i.e. the time required to manufacture one batch of

all the products) and the frequency of the cycles.

In intermittent batch production each individual batch requires processing through a number of

operations on a series of facilities. Here the basic question to be answered is ± in ?

??

?

bearing in mind that in different situations it may be

necessary to achieve different objectives.

and

secondly

.

a.| ^

J

?

?
?

?
?

?

??

?

The objective in such a case is usually to minimise

the total through-put time.

No mathematical solution has been developed for solving the sequencing problem. However

· developed on algorithm to solve a simple problem comprising a number of jobs

processed through two facilities. In certain cases the algorithm may be extended to a three

machine sequence but beyond that no exact solution procedures exists.

·

A sequencing algorithm for two facilities and µ µ jobs can be developed where µ µ jobs are to be

processed on each of two facilities (A and B) with the same order (AB) and no passing thus:

2.| If this is Ai put that job first (or nearest first).

3.| If this is Bi put that job last (or nearest last).

4.| Delete this job from the table.

5.| Return to 1.

An example of the two-facility ± job sequencing problem and its solution using this procedure is

shown below:

Job Ai Bi ^equence

Adopted

A 5 1 6

B 4 5 3

C 6 5 5

D 7 6 4

E 2 6 1

F 3 4 2

???

?

???

b.| À

À

?

??

?

?
?

?

?

?

With dispatching one normally operates within different and often conflicting objectives for

example:

(i)

?? the objective is to attempt to gain the best use of

capacity;

(ii)

??
??

the objectives would be to provide good

customer service;

(iii)

??
? to decrease the amount of work-in-progress.

rather than rigorous

mathematical rules. Priority rules may be classified into two distinct classes static and dynamic.

a.| ^

are those in which the value of the priority function does not change with

time. E.g. earliest due date first shortest processing time first.

b.| À

on the other hand give a priority value which changes with time. Relative

priorities of jobs change depending on progress. An example would be the slack time per

remaining operation: [due date ± time now] ± remaining processing time here the priority

rule is changing. Although one date is fixed as time passes and some work is carried on

that job its priority rule is changing continually.

Priority value depends on ³time now´ and will need to be continually modified. In practice

priority values will be calculated on a daily or weekly basis but dynamic rules will be calculated

more frequently and therefore more costly to operate.

The effectiveness of a chosen priority can only be assessed by putting the rule into practice and

judging with regard to the three criteria described earlier.

a.| [

± the first job/customer arriving at the work centre is processed

first.

b.| £

± the job with the earliest due date is proceeded first.

c.| ^

± load first the job which occupies least time.

d.| Î

.

Whether one should choose a particular role rather than another normally depends on the

objective one is chasing.

²²²²²²²²²

No of jobs

²²²²²²²²²

²²²²²²±

No of jobs

The effectiveness of a chosen priority can only be assessed by putting the rule into practice and

judging with regard to certain criteria. This however could be time-consuming and also

expensive if a poor rule were chosen. An alternative is therefore simulation which is quicker but

usually simplifies the situation by making numerous assumptions e.g.

- The operation times (including set-up) for all jobs are known and are independent of

processing order:

- Transport between facilities is neglected.

Most computer aided despatching systems make use of priority rules but are in a position to use

more complex formulae than the manual systems. Moreover many packages involve the use of a

factor or factors which may be varied by the user and tested until the desired results are obtained.

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