In Problem 16.14, what could be done to (a) increase the production rate and/or (b) reduce the…

In Problem 16.14, what could be done to (a) increase the production rate and/or (b) reduce the operating costs of the cell in light of your analysis? Support your answers with calculations.

Problem 16.14

A group technology cell is organized to produce a particular family of products. The cell consists of three processing stations, each with one server: an assembly station with three servers; and a load/unload station with two servers. A mechanized transfer system moves the products between stations. The transfer system has a total of six transfer carts. Each can includes a workholder that holds the products during their processing and assembly, and therefore each cart must remain with the product throughout processing and assembly. The cell resources can be summarized as follows:

The GT cell is currently used to produce four products. All products follow the same routing, which is 1 →2 →3 →4 →5 → 1.The product mix and station times for the parts are presented in the table below:

The average transfer time between stations takes 2 min in addition to the time spent at the workstation. Determine: (a) the bottleneck station in the GT cell and the critical value of N. Compute the overall production rate and manufacturing lead time of the cell, given that the number of parts in the system = N*. If N* is not an integer, use the integer that is closest to N*, (h) Compute the overall production rate and manufacturing lead time of the cell, given that the number of parts in the system = N* + 10. If N* is not an integer, use the integer that is closest to Nis + 10. (c) Comment on the likely accuracies of the answers in (a) and (b) in light of Table 16.8 in the text.

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