Long Cycle Product Case Study

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1. Introduction If the product under consideration takes more than one planning period to complete the product is called long cycle product (Chakravarty and Shtub, 1986, Chang and Jones, 1970, Tunc and Haddock, 1994). Ships, aircrafts, buildings and special machines are example of long cycle products. Long-cycle products are typically one-of-a-kind make-to-order products. What makes them different is the total production time which normally spans over several planning horizons. The production period for these products can vary from a few months to a few years. These products are built in subassemblies and the final assembly is akin to erection in a job shop environment. The components which go in various subassemblies might go through similar…show more content…
Later work in the area of OKP product focused on geographically distributed units controlled by a reference company structure (Yiliu Tu, 1997) and suggested adaptive production planning and virtual company network. Storch et al (1999) used the fundamentals of lean thinking (Womack et al, 1996) and suggested product work breakdown structure and group technology to reduce waste in a shipbuilding environment. They suggested use of smaller standardized block and proposed a metrics to monitor the lean flow in shipbuilding. However literature in this area has not recognized the importance of planning and scheduling at final assembly stages and efficient use of spatial resources in long cycle product environment. It is worth to note at this point that though it can be easily concluded from literature of lean manufacturing that a uniform flow from process lanes will facilitate lean flow, it is difficult to find suitable methods at shop floor and an appropriate lay out to implement the ideas and achieve this flow. 3 At shop floor level Lee et al (1994) used Lozano Perez (1983) configuration space approach…show more content…
Any improvement in throughput therefore, should target the constrained spatial resource and ensure that all preceding processes minimize waste and fulfill the due dates. Thus the review of literature summarize environment of long cycle product environment as following. • Capacity of the production plant is generally limited by the final assembly dock and workspaces which use spatial resources. This part of the plant has a fixed lay out, a jobshop operations structure and is guided by due dates. These due dates dictate the requirement of work force and other resources for the entire production process. • Production period for long cycle products spans many planning horizons. Effects of variable productivity and learning effect can be observed amongst workforce. • Final product is custom designed (built to order) and production batch size is very small. (akin to one of a kind (OKP) product) • Products are generally heavy and bulky and occupy large spaces. Assembly operations and material movement is very costly and time consuming. • Each product is made of several components which can have similar process routings and the final product is made in subassemblies. (Mukheerjee and Nof,

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