Analytic exercise: Designing a Manufacturing Process Toshiba´s Notebook Computer Assembly Line

954 Words Sep 27th, 2013 4 Pages
Global Supply Chain Management

Case report
Analytic exercise: Designing a Manufacturing Process
Toshiba´s Notebook Computer Assembly Line

Whenever a new model is introduced at Toshiba, management attempts to improve the assembling process in terms of increasing productivity and decreasing costs. Attentiveness is directed towards reducing the amount of components and simplifying production and assembly.
Manufacturing engineering manager Toshihiro Nakamura introduced a prototype assembly sheet concerning the new notebook model. The following precedence graph examines the process sheet.
Task numbers: 1-17; task time in seconds (in brackets).

1 (75) 2 (61) 14 (11) 15 (310) 16 (60) 17 (60)

3 (24) 4 (36) 5
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Efficiency of the assembly line will be calculated in the following with regard on different amounts of units being produced. Eventually the optimal number of units to reach an efficiency of 100% will be calculated.
With 250 units produced per day, a cycle time of 108 seconds per unit results. Hence, using the formula for calculating the line´s efficiency, (sum of task times = 583 seconds/6 workstations x 108 seconds cycle time) results in an efficiency rate of 89.97% (~ 90%). Running at a maximum capacity of 300 units per day (583/6x90), line efficiency would be 107.96% which is not close to reality. Relative to its use of labour, an efficiency of ~ 108% producing at maximum capacity is not achievable. More workers would be needed and staff would have to work on one task simultaneously.
An efficiency of 100% can be reached with a daily production of 277 units per day assuming that the assembly line maintains its initial set up of 6 workstations with the same labour time. The actual efficiency rate (with 277 units produced per day) constitutes 99.66% which is the maximum that can be reached.

In order to dispense the previously discussed issue of inefficiency at workstation 4, several recommendations will be highlighted.
Firstly, the easiest solution in relation to not changing the assembly set up would be to assign more skilled workers to station 4 in

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