Manufacturing and Materials
University of Sunderland
7th May 2014
The manufacturing organization of any firm is important as it determines not only the production performance of a company but it also impacts on the market prospects of that particular firm. In the modern world where the manufacturing sector has become highly competitive, decision makers have to implement manufacturing process that not only aim at production of quality products but also lead to cost savings and efficient use of resources (Ostwald, 2007). This principle of lean manufacturing has evolved over time and was first introduced by Toyota Motor Corporation back in mid-1930. Manufacturing processes can actually be used as a yardstick by the managers in measuring the performance of their firm relative to other firms.
Manufacturers today face a lot of pressure from the many different stakeholders as they try to cope up with emerging trends in the manufacturing world. Shareholders, customers, suppliers and regulators all affect the operations of firms. The ability of a firm to quickly foresee and adapt to these pressures can be a major foundation of gaining competitive advantage over other firms. However, this is not easy as most legacy applications and the required infrastructure are inherently rigid and inflexible. The call to come up with new innovative operational system is top of the agendas of many organizations. This research examines how best manufacturers can leverage their business processes in manufacturing operations to meet the expectations of different stakeholders and achieve a competitive advantage. The research also aims at finding out the appropriate methodologies that can be used by firms to ensure the production process is efficient in that wastes in the production cycle are reduced, costs of production are lowered, output is increased as production lead times are reduced and the quality standards of the products are improved.
Manufacturing Organizations (Efficiency)
Manufacturing is the process of processing raw materials into a finished product normally done by large scale industrial operations with use of industrial machines. Manufacturers integrate elements of the organization system to meet the needs of customers in an effective and timely way. Manufacturers eliminate organizational obstacles to enable improved communication and enhance high quality production of goods and services.
The factory organization of a firm comprises the following components; job shop, flow shop, linked cell, project and continuous process.
A job shop is a facility that is capable of producing a wide range of products in small volumes. The production facility is for general purpose and is flexible enough to meet different needs. The major characteristics of a job shop include; a wide variety of products, equipped with general purpose machines, operated by skilled employees, low levels of production, scheduling and procedure planning is done by route sheets.
A flow shop or an assembly line is a process where discrete parts are joined to make an end product. This operation is normally high in volume and produces products with similar characteristics and performance. This process is mostly highly automated and production process is continuous with a possibility of one routing only. The main features of assembly line include; plants are often designed for a single product line, it is very inflexible, the layout is product oriented and it is a more productive stage. Line balancing is very important at this stage.
A batch process is one that does not have enough volume from a given product to effectively use the facility. The common components are made in volume and used to create the product needed. The layout is functional and components are manufactured in large batches and stored. This stage involves complicated routing of…