Circuit Board Case Study
They produce circuit boards to large organizations like Apple and Hewlett-Packard. The large computer companies hire Circuit Board Fabricators, Inc. (CBF) to make to circuit boards for the large companies new prototypes. CBF implements a large automated process that follows standard codes to produce these circuit boards efficiently and with above average customer service; however, recently CBF has been experiencing losses.
CBF believes that the loss’s the company is facing is due to the current automated system used. The CBF process engineers designed the plant has the capacity to produce 1,000 circuit boards per day; however, the plant has been producing 700. Nearly 20% of the circuit boards produced daily are defected, and CBF is not producing enough high quality boards per day to meet the consumer’s demands. The following analysis will address the process flow structure, the capacity of the process, losses of the process, short and long-term recommendations for improvement opportunities.
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Flow Structure CBF currently uses a common manufacturing process called the batch shop flow process. This process is used when a company as a stable line products. This type of flow process is commonly used within the electronics industry as the products are similar with on a few differences in production. The fabricators insist that the plant has the capability to produce 1,000 useable circuit boards per day using this process.
Through analyzing the process it is concluded that it takes forty-five minutes just in loading and unloading the circuit boards. In addition, the final inspection process consisting of 6 workers is time consuming as well. Through analyzing the amount of manual labor used during the production process, the amount if effect boards may not be able to be decreased due to human error. The capacity of the process has to be expanded in order to reach the number of boards that process engineers insist that the plant can run. Impact of Losses
It is stated that nearly 15% of the circuits boards are rejected during an early process inspection and another 5% are rejected during the final testing process. CBF has created a 25% cushion to account for losses in these two inspection phases. This means that once a board is sent out to a client, they project the clients has only a 5% chance of receiving a defective board. The number of boards lost during both of the inspections process means that the company has little room for error once a board is set out since they are already producing lower boards then expected per day.
Baseline Data The data in this case shows that CBF increases all orders by 25% to ensure that after the final inspection, and circuit boards are rejected an order is filled. The plant is supposed to produce 1,000 fully operating circuit broads a day; however, CBS is only producing 700 before final inspections and rejections are accounted. Typically, 15% of all boards are rejected during the first inspection while 5% are rejected at the final inspection process.
CBF needs to increase the amount of boards manufactured and decrease the number of boards being rejected. Establish Performance Requirements In order for CBF to produce high quality circuit boards, the following requirements to establish performance are recommended: -Extended hours of operation -Additional Machinery -Decrease initial inspection time If the company were to extend production hours to 12 hours a day with an addition of a machine, the production and production cost would increase but so would the number of produced circuit boards.
In addition, if the factory could shorten the initial inspection process time, this would allow for more boards to be produced and lessen the bottle neck affect the company currently faces. Process Improvement Opportunities After a full examination of the case study, the top three process improvement opportunities include: As examined, the top three process improvement opportunities include: 1. Increase the factory’s hours of operations to 12 hour days 2. Increase machinery to reduce human error 3. Create a new initial inspection process to decrease time Final Recommendation
My current workplace is not in the manufacturing industry. The only improvement that my company does currently implements is increased hours of operation. This increases the cost of operations; however, creates potential through availability to earn capital. Our company cannot add machinery, but does use other non-human resources to aid in the decreased risk of human error through programs and software. As the consultant for CBF, my final recommendation would be to implement a new process for reviewing the products, additional machinery, and additional hours of operation.
The estimate of the factory’s production was more than likely an estimate, now that the factory has been producing a consistent number of circuit boards they can review and make recommendations based on their true to form production line. Through analyzing the data, it is determined that in part human error and a lack of machinery are responsible for the missing 300 boards being produced. These changes should give CBF the increase the company needs to fulfill their consumer’s demands.