Analyzing process flow of autoclaves stations for canned food processing to balance and synchronize them with production lines

Arteaga Irene, Yober Arteaga (2018) Analyzing process flow of autoclaves stations for canned food processing to balance and synchronize them with production lines. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Even though there are many techniques available for optimizing operations in a manufacturing environment, it is a challenge to create and optimize flow on the shop floor. In the canning food industry safety issues are foremost so most of the variables related to time are fixed such as in autoclaves stations in which the product can only wait up to a specific time (maximum retention time) to be processed and the thermal treatment times are set values for each type of product. This study analysed the process flow of autoclaves stations, formulated a mathematical model for buffer allocation and developed a software application in NetBeans IDE 8.2.

The mathematical model, first, evaluate the actual performance of the autoclaves station under real conditions (i.e. if retention time higher the processing times or not, percentage of batches that do not exceed the maximum retention time, throughput levels, buffer sizes and buffer times, and idle capacity, etc.), then based on the results, it proposes an improvement plan by determining the optimal buffer sizes and buffer times to create flow between the autoclaves station and production lines, therefore, optimize the overall performance of the production system. Two scenarios were evaluated. In the first one, when the production lines produce more than the autoclaves capacity (high levels of work-in-progress), and in the second one, when the autoclaves produce less than the autoclaves capacity (idle capacity).

Overall results show that in the first scenario the buffer size should be decreased and the buffer time should be increased by adjusting the processing times (other variables no possible to change), so in this way, the maximum retention time is not exceeded, while in the second scenario a determined buffer size and buffer time should be implemented by adjusting the processing times so idle capacity is reduced and throughput rate is maximized without exceeding the retention time as well. Hence, the proposed approach is able to determine the optimal buffer allocation and improve the autoclaves station performance. The proposed methodology could work as a production management tool for the shop floor and could give to plant and planning managers more accurate information regarding the optimal plan for when managing operations in autoclaves stations.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Autoclaves stations, canning food industry, balancing and synchronization, production lines
Depositing User: Arteaga Irene, Yober
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2022 16:03
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 16:03

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