Comparing Manufacturing Configurations. Comparing Manufacturing Configurations. Production Organization Report:
The object of this homework is to compare and contrast different ways to organize/configure manufacturing operations.
We discussed organizing methods for manufacturing operations early in the quarter. Some of the ways to organize production are motivated by the volume and variety of products; at other times they may be arranged by product families; and in some circumstances the factory organization is equipment/machines oriented. Overlaying the physical arrangement of the facilities are the methods used for control and management of the production processes. For instance, some of the facilities were schedule driven and others adopt a rigorous TPS approach. It is rare that you find a “pure” example of the categories; more often the company has developed their own blend of methods which best address their products, customer needs and available resources.
The plants we have visited this quarter should be the focus of your report, the exemplars of ways to organize and control production processes and relationships with supply networks. You also have been given a case study about a job shop, Norcen Industries(files in materials) in a new window, because we did not have the opportunity to visit a job shop this quarter. But you should include in your compare and contrast report as if you had indeed visited their Indiana facilities.
The scenario or context motivating the report.
PlayTime, the company who recently hired you, does not currently manufacture the products that it designs and markets; it has used contract manufacturing companies in Mexico for the last 15 years. But a decision has been made to move PlayTime production “in-house,” and your manager has asked that you examine several different manufacturing companies in the Puget Sound region for ideas about how PlayTime might structure its in-house manufacturing operations.
So the memo you are writing is fundamentally to educate the PlayTime management team, helping them appreciate the alternative ways of organizing production systems. They will use your report as a guide to help them understand what’s going on at each of the Puget Sound manufacturing firms they visit (the same ones you visited); they will also visit the Norcen facility in Indiana.
Your memo (800-1000 words) should describe each of the facilities the management team will see, and you also need to provide the management team an organizing framework for the production facilities. One way (you may develop another) to do that would be to construct a matrix or table of fundamental types of organizations (e.g., Push, TPS, Craft; low volume, high volume, MTO) and the position where each of the companies/products might be found. Obviously you would need to explain your matrix and why you have located companies and products as you did. (Each of the companies are referenced by a number on my matrix example. I would provide a reference to relate the numbers with the names of the companies included in your guidelines/memo. NOTE: The companies in the example matrix are not the companies(Kenworth, Red Dot, B/E Aerospace we visited!)
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