Simulation of Production Flow : A simulation-based approach to evaluate and optimize future production scenarios

University essay from KTH/Industriell produktion; KTH/Industriell produktion

Abstract: This master thesis is the last part of the master program Production Engineering and Management at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, in Stockholm. The thesis is conducted at Exeger Operations AB, in short Exeger. The company is in an expansion phase and wants to prepare for future production expansion. Thus, a simulation capability to test future production scenarios was desirable. The problem definition was defined by the company together with the authors and led to a literature study within simulation, TPS and Lean manufacturing. Following the literature study, a current state map was produced to achieve sufficient understanding of the production flow at the company. A simulation model was then built. The model was used to test three different ”what-if” scenarios. Buy or Optimize, Future ratio 3:1:1 and Buy or SMED. The authors’ findings in the Buy or Optimize scenario suggest that optimizing the process time in the printers is far better, from multiple perspectives, than investing in new machinery. A 3:1:1 ratio of printers, sinter 1 and assembly station was developed using the simulation model to achieve leveled production flow of these specific processes. Lastly, conducting a SMED on the sinter 1 machine, the setup-,and wait-times achieved a theoretical reduction up to 75 % by altering the SOP and allocating additional preparatory space, in accordance with Lean philosophy. This change would offer the same improvement to a full-scale production as investing in a new sinter 1 according to the simulation model. Future work may consist of Layout Planning and adopting the simulation model to new prerequisites.

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