Student: Justian Knobbout, 3rd year student Business Engineering
School: Hogeschool Utrecht, The Netherlands

student_project_knoboutI used Incontrols Enterprise Dynamics to develop a new production line lay-out and optimize the production process of a licence plate factory. Using this program helped me quantify changes in the production process, which was very useful to support the conclusions in my final report.

Based on data on the production process, I first made a model of the existing lay-out. These data included cycle times, machining time, transport distances, number of employees and current position of the machinery. To validate the model, I took production data from the ERP system and used this as input for a simulation run in Enterprise Dynamics. When the simulation was ready, it showed me at what time the process should be finished. Around the forecasted time, I went to the workshop. Most of the time, the process was just ready or would be ready in about five to ten minutes. After doing this some days in a row, I concluded my model was valid.

Simulating three different scenarios revealed some bottlenecks and inefficiencies. The greatest bottleneck was a mechanical one, so another lay-out can't improve this. On the other hand, the biggest time waste was transportation time. The design of the new factory would be critical to eliminate this. This became the main target of the new lay-out:

reduce transportation time to the minimum.

These results, plus some requests from the management, became the input for the new lay-out. Several concept models were built and used for simulation. Using a criteria list, each model was evaluated. Eventually, the model with the best score was selected. To this model we also added also some small improvement in the production process added, such as the implementation of a two-bin system for some semi-manufactured goods.

Using this final model, again three different scenarios were simulated. The results from these scenarios were compared with the corresponding results in the old situation. The most important output were the transportation time, the elimination of which was the main target in the new lay-out, and the utilization of the employees. This to make sure staff capacity would notbe affected negative by changing the lay-out. The improvements are shown in table 1.

Variable Scenario A Scenario B Scenario C
Transportation time




Utilization employees




Table 1. Improvements in transportation time and utilization of employees due to the new lay-out.

The results made very clear the new lay-out had a very positive effect on transportation time and employee's utilization. Based on this conclusion, the board of the company decided to accept my advice and use the lay-out I designed in their new factory.

Justian Knobbout
3rd year student Business Engineering
Hogeschool Utrecht

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