Table of Contents
Introduction of New England Foundry New England Foundry is a manufacturer of wood stoves for the home. Due to price increases in energy costs, their volumes have risen and New England is expanding to meet rising demands for their Warmglo III model. A new factory was built especially for the Warmglo III model. The new factory has state of the art equipment, but casting procedures are relatively unchanged by new technology. The casting process has a series of reliant steps including: wooden patterns, creating molds, casting, and finishing. The wooden patterns are purchased from Precision Patterns Inc. and are stored in the pattern shop and maintenance room. The molds are created by packing a special sand around the patterns, then removing the patterns to leave a negative image of the casting. The mold is then transported to the casting room and is filled with molten iron and then allowed to cool. Once cooled, the mold is removed from the casting and the casting is sent through finishing. The finished product is moved to storage and shipping. As in most manufacturing environments, this process flow has many dependent steps and when one falls behind, they all do. For this reason, the layout of the new factory is especially important.
Problems with Production at New England Foundry Due to the steps within the casting process, the layout of the new factory is extremely important. The layout needs to promote a good process flow and fast production time. New England Foundry produces a low variety of products at high volumes. Because of this, their layout needs to coincide with the order of steps in the casting process and can be made a permanent set-up. A good layout will save time and money in a factory environment. This is in fact, the very problem that New England is facing. The picture below shows the current layout of the factory as described in the Introduction of New England Foundry.
The current layout for the new Warmglo III factory has the pattern shop and maintenance department in the same area. These two departments are in the same area because they currently use the same counter to store the tools and the patterns. The process the maintenance employees use is a single phase multi-channel process. Everyone that walks in the door stands in a single queue and steps up to the first available of two maintenance men. Pete and Bob approximate that they can service a total of 10 people an hour , and usually have about 4 people from casting and 3 people from molding each hour. The problem arises when looking at lost time for each department. The casting department is on the other side of the factory, and it takes someone 3 minutes, without distractions, to walk to the maintenance room. However, the molding room is adjacent to the maintenance room and it only takes a person one minute to walk the distance. This often means that even though the casting department's problem could have occurred first, they may end up at the back of the line due to unequal travel time. New England Foundry needs to find a plant layout that will allow for the least amount of time lost for any division
Objectives and Goals of New England Foundry New England Foundry is a manufacturer of wood stoves only, and their goal is to maintain a quality product. When the demand for wood stoves increased, New England wasn't able to ensure the same quality at those higher volumes with their current capacity. New England has built a new factory to ensure that the quality of their product remains. Also, as any company in today's society, they want to be as efficient as possible to save time and money. The money and time saved will allow them to have a greater profit margin on their product. The goal of New England Foundry is to be a lean company while maintaining quality.
Techniques at New England Foundry The