Value flow mapping of the material flow at Proton Finishing ALSAB`s warehouse

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Kommunikations- och transportsystem; Linköpings universitet/Tekniska fakulteten

Abstract: Proton Finishing ALSAB (hereinafter referred to as ALSAB) is a company located in Anderstorp and active in surface treatment and powder coating. ALSAB is part of the Proton Finishing group and was acquired in 2020 and is therefore the newest facility of their total of five facilities. ALSAB varnishes products that their customers deliver, and they do not produce any products themselves. What makes ALSAB unique is that they can handle products that are up to five meters long, and that they can offer a wide range of colors for their powder coating. The study at ALSAB intends to improve their internal material flow inside the warehouse. At the moment, there is no clear routine for the material flow, and ALSAB is therefore asking for suggestions for improvement, ALSAB also need help with identification and elimination of non-value-adding activities, which they suspect exist within the material flow.  In order to identify any problems in Proton Finishing ALSAB's material flow, observations, interviews, document collection, process mapping and value flow mapping have been done. The observations made have been made by studying the material flow on site at Proton Finishing ALSAB, to see where activities occur that impair the smoothness of the material flow. Three employees within ALSAB have been interviewed during this study, where all three have different roles within the company in order to get several different perspectives on how the employees consider the material flow to work. Document collection was done through Proton Finishing ALSAB's business system – Jeeves. The data was collected on the number of products and pallets that were delivered and shipped each day, which is information that contributed to finding a connection between when and how many products ALSAB receives over the course of a year. The process mapping was developed to identify the process steps that were relevant for the value flow mapping. A value flow mapping was made of the activities that take place in the warehouse. The value flow mapping has contributed to showing which activities take up the most time, as well as which activities have the greatest variation in time.  The results show that the two activities that take the longest and vary the most in time are activities 2 and 4, which are arrival control and packing. The arrival control activity is when the arriving goods are checked so that they match what the delivery note states. The packing activity consists of three different steps: insulation, packing of goods and strapping. The three steps together make up the entire packing activity. The result also shows that the waiting times, in the value flow mapping illustrated with a triangle, which take up the most time are waiting time 1 and 5. These triangles represent the time that the products are stored in the in-storage, respectively the out-storage, as well as the time it takes to transport the products back and forth to the trucks. Based on this information several improvement proposals regarding a more leveled material flow inside Proton Finishing ALSAB's warehouse have been developed.  The improvement proposals that have been developed to make Proton Finishing ALSAB's material flow smoother varies in extent in terms of what the improvement would cost, as well as how long it would take to implement the various improvements. In the short term, several improvement proposals have been identified, including a new structure for the storage of the odd products, a larger doorway between warehouse and production, as well as purchasing another banding machine. In the long term, it is proposed to reposition where the different areas of the warehouse are located and also to build one more gate for shipping and deliveries.

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