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  •  to help the manufacturer understand the actual capacity of the plant as it currently exists

  •  to determine what areas of the manufacturing process were the causes of major bottlenecks that decreased the plant capacity

The model was also expected to be usable to determine the equipment needed to overcome these bottlenecks


Due the nature of the cream cheese manufacturing process, Flexsim’s typical modeling approach of using discrete, individual items flowing through the model was not appropriate. Instead, a new library of objects that Flexsim was developing was used. These objects were designed to handle fluid flow.

These new fluid objects were used to simulate the various tanks, mixers, and pipes in the cream cheese manufacturing process. There were no operators modeled, as they were not considered potential bottlenecks. Other simplifying assumptions were made, such as modeling a series of small tanks with a single, larger tank.This allowed the manufacturer to understand how raw material arrivals affected the overall capacity of the model, even if not all products were being modeled. 
Data* for the model was entered using an Excel spreadsheet that could be easily changed by the model user. At the end of a model run, data from the model could be exported to an Excel spreadsheet that could be used for analysis. This data included information about what times objects in the model changed state (empty, full, etc.) and what the throughput of objects in the model was at various times throughout the model run. 

*the production schedule for a week, the recipes for the products that were being modeled, the capacities of the tanks, the times required for mixing, culturing and transferring the in-process product and the arrival schedule of raw materials.


Once the model was completed, it was given to the manufacturer so they could run their what-if scenarios. They ran the model to determine where the bottlenecks were and they simulated adding additional equipment in those areas. The additional equipment was simulated by increasing the capacity of the objects already in the model. This was less accurate than creating new objects, but it required less work and training. It was found that by adding one additional resource in each of the three largest problem areas, the increased capacity goal could be reached.
As the manufacturer continues to use the model, they will become more familiar with the intricacies and details that make it work and they will be able to make larger, more accurate adjustments to it for their future simulation studies.

Read more in pdf file >

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