Operations management assignment
Assess multistep processes utilizing a variety of parameters such as bottleneck, capacity, utilization, flow rate, rework, and cycle time. (CO#1, CO#4)
Aquatica makes underwater camera housings for divers. The process begins with a solid rectangular block of aluminum, which is used to make a single housing. A Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine drills into the block to make the metal “frame” of the housing. Each block requires 15 minutes of drilling. The frame is then chemically treated in a series of baths. There is ample capacity in the treating stage. Finally, a worker must manually attach the various buttons and components to the metal housing. This assembly takes 120 minutes per housing per worker and Aquatica has 6 workers trained to do this task. The CNC machine requires a 30-minute setup time before the production of a batch can begin.
Aquatica actually makes 5 different housings. As already mentioned, the CNC machine must be setup whenever production switches from one housing to the other. In each case the setup time is 30 minutes and it takes 15 minutes to drill the block for each type of housing. Demands for the housings are given in the table below.
Housing type Demand rate (housings per hour)
5DS Mark III 0.5
Demands for Housing
In a memo to the Process Improvement Officer, complete the following:
Aquatica’s Process Improvement Officer has recommended reducing the variety of housing types.
If you remove two varieties, what is the revised utilization (as a percentage)?
Select four (4) different combinations of varieties to analyze (so for each combination you will remove two (2) housing types and recalculate the utilization (as a percentage)). Report results in a table format.
Create a graph of Variety versus Utilization for the four combinations you have selected.
Which combination (with two housing types removed) has the highest utilization?
Could you have determined this (which combination would have the highest utilization) without doing calculations? If so, how?
What additional supply chain strategies could you utilize to improve Aquatica’s ability to serve its customers? And why?
Cachon and Terwiesch (2017) stated, “The advantage of a fast processing time can outweigh the disadvantage of the setup” (p. 194). Explain this concept utilizing Aquatica’s process as an example.