Essays on Problem-based learning Case Study

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Problem-Based Learning The unpredictable market changes have necessitated that manufacturing companies adopt more intelligent ways of production planning in order to ensure that the manufacturing company is more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective. The core objective, in this case, centres on heralding continuous and speedy improvement in cost, quality, lead time, and customer service, while simultaneously drawing superior manufacturing performance. Philips had erred in its adoption of fixed position layout since it made the work boring, and tremendously tedious. Furthermore, the work cycle was highly repetitive and demanded minimal skill. I believe that group technology layout would have better served the requirements of the company and can be employed in the high tech manufacturing company since it averts the problems that Philips faced.

Most importantly, cellular layout enables the company to derive the benefits of product layout in job-shop mode of production as demonstrated by strengths such as improved human relations, enhanced operator expertise, reduced work-in-process inventory and material handling, and faster production set up. Problem-based Learning Assignment 1 – Case Study A Introduction The strength of any business or company lies in its organization of key resources since organizations that are highly organized and report high productivity.

Job design can be defined as the function of specifying the work activities of both the individual and group within an organization setting. Layout decision relates to the placement of departments, work stations, machines, work group in the departments, and stock points in a production facility. The core objective in managing personnel centres on obtaining the highest productivity devoid of sacrificing service, quality, or responsiveness. The operations manager can utilize job design techniques to structure the work to ensure that it will satisfy the physical and behavioural requirements of the employees.

Discussion Philip’s old production line (fixed position layout) was a major source of dissatisfaction among the employees. This arrangement made the work boring, uninteresting, lonely, and tremendously tedious. The work cycle was highly repetitive, demanded minimal skill, and took a few seconds before thee component goes to the next workstation. The arrangement deprived operators the freedom to move about, which at the same time ensuring that the pace of the line is dictated by the line.

Philips discarded the old system and adopted a new system in which employees formed themselves into, multi-skilled, self-contained production teams which provided employees with high level of autonomy (Kriegler & Stendal, 1982). The stocks for each production team’s finished components are held in stores, which meant that each team is less reliant on the activities of the other team. Under the new system, operators had the opportunity to exploit a wide array of skills and capabilities. The new system also introduced flexibility, which makes the company highly responsive to market fluctuations.

Philips discarded the conventional pyramid organizations and introduced a metric structure that fostered communication and problem-solving. The new arrangement led to improvement in productivity and efficiency. Production Planning for the High-Tech Company Manufacturing resource planning can be regarded as an effective method of operational planning of the manufacturing firm’s resources. The production line ought to deliver the right quantities of components, while at the same time sustaining a timely delivery. Layout planning centres on deciding the most suitable arrangement of all resources in a facility, which significantly impacts on productivity.

Four types of layout design are manifest and entail product layouts, process layouts, hybrid layouts, and fixed-position layouts. Hybrid layouts merge characteristics of both product layouts and process and are the strengths of each layout (Kramar et al. , 2011). Hybrid layouts such as group technology combine the elements of both process and product layouts by maintaining some of the efficiencies of product layouts and maintain flexibility of process layouts. A high-tech manufacturing plant is likely to produce numerous different parts that are analogous to each other in way they are manufactured and resources required.

The high-tech plant is likely to manifest several elements of standardized work in terms of task time, cycle time, and work sequence. Standardized work can be regarded as a core element of lean manufacturing methodologies that ensure that the gains derived from organization of work cells, creation of flow production, and introduction of continuous improvement teams are fully exploited. The standardized work may necessitate utilization of best practices for employees to follow during completion of their jobs and are structured to reduce process variation and eradicate unnecessary motion.

The design of product layouts necessitates one to make several considerations including: sequence of the tasks to be undertaken by every workstation, logical order, and pace considerations (line balancing). Group technology can produce significant enhancements where it is suitable and the core idea can be utilized within all manufacturing environments. In manufacturing, group technology can be perceived as a role model to gain the strengths of flow line systems in environments preciously dictated by job shop layouts.

The parts are structured to be compatible with the processes and tooling. The design engineer the notion of group technology can yield to standardized products and process plans. Group technology may be suitable in cases where large machines have already been situated and cannot be moved or in cases in which product mix and part families are dynamic and would necessitate frequent relayout. Machines may be situated in process layout by exploiting functional departments. Some of the characteristics of successful groups entail: team (dedicated employees); products (specified set of products); facilities (specified set of dedicated machines); group layout (dedicated space for specified facilities); target (shared group goal); independence (groups can attain goals independently); and, size (about 6-15 employees).

Group technology (cellular) layout Cellular manufacturing can be regarded as a theory of management grounded on the principle that analogous things should be done similarly, which encompasses aspects such as product design, fabrication, and process planning, assembly, and production control. Group technology can also be applied to other activities including administrative functions. The principle of cellular technology centres of dividing the manufacturing facility into small groups of cells that are committed to a certain family or set of part types.

The idea behind cellular manufacturing can be employed to build large groups such as department compromising of automated cells. Group technology impacts on various areas of a company including: process planning, production control, quality control, engineering, equipment specification, facilities planning, tool design, service, and purchasing. Group technology philosophy works in three diverse ways: (1) by undertaking similar activities together; (2) standardizing analogous tasks; (3) efficiently storing and retrieving information on recurring problems.

Group technology elevates part families based on similarities in manufacturing and design attributes, which makes computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing highly compatible. As such, group technology, as a management strategy, can aid to eradicate wastage emanating from duplication of effort. Group technology layout essential allocates dissimilar machines into cells to work on products that manifest analogous shapes and processing requirements. The overall objective lies in gaining the benefits of product layout in job kinds of production (Stone, 2014). Cellular manufacturing is an application of group technology within manufacturing in which all or a section of the company’s manufacturing system is converted into cells.

The strengths associated with cellular layout include: enhanced human relations since the cell comprises of several employee who constitute a small work team in which each team turns out complete units of work (Nankervis, Baird, Shields, & Coffey, 2013). Cellular layout also yields to enhanced operator expertise since the employees only see a limited number of diverse parts in infinite production cycle, since repetition means quick learning.

This approach also means that the company has les in-process inventory and material handling and enjoys faster production set up. Production flow analysis encompasses four stages, namely: machine classification on the grounds of operations that can performed on them. The second stage entail checking parts list and production route information in which every part on the operations can be undertaken and the machines necessitated to undertake each operation. The third stage entails factory flow analysis followed by machine-component group analysis. Cellular manufacturing yields to a reduction in flow times, saves process time, minimization of inventories, employees can feel empowered and gain job satisfaction, and numerous operations can be undertaken in a solitary cell (Mukherjee & Kachwala, 2009).

However, cellular manufacturing can manifest several limitations such as incidents of placement of bottlenecks on machines. Moreover, inadequacies in employee education, training, and involvement, and inadequacies may manifest in employee education, involvement, and training could manifest owing to improper implementation. Conclusion Hybrid layouts can be regarded as the most appropriate for the high tech manufacturing plant based in Manila.

Group technology (cellular layout) heralds together dissimilar machines into work centres to work of products that manifest analogous shapes and processing requirements. A group technology layout is analogous to process layout in the sense that cell are structured to undertake a certain set of processes and is also analogous to product layout in the sense that cells are devoted to a limited array of products. In most cases, the cell is structured in a U-shape to enable employees to move easily from one station to the next.

Cellular layout is likely to generate improvements in employee motivation and productivity, which in turn, yields to increased job satisfaction. References Kramar, R., et al. (2011). Human Resource Management: Strategy, People, Performance. Sydney: McGraw Hill. Kriegler, R. & Stendal, G. (1982). Case Study A: Classics in Australian Management-Philips. National Times. Mukherjee, P. N., & Kachwala, T. T. (2009). Operations management and productivity techniques. New Delhi: PHI Learning. Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Shields, J. & Coffey, J. (2013). Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice. Melbourne: Cengage Learning. Stone, R. (2014).

Human Resource Management, 8th ed. Sydney: Wiley.

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