Jim Wells, vice-president for manufacturing of the Northern Airplane Company, is exasperated. His walk through the company’s most important plant this morning has left him in a foul mood. However, he now can vent his temper at Jerry Carstairs, the plant’s production manager, who has just been summoned to Jim’s office.
“Jerry, I just got back from walking through the plant and I am very upset.” “What is the problem, Jim?” “Well, you know how much I have been emphasizing the need to cut down on our in-process inventory.” “Yes, we’ve been working hard on that,” ...view middle of the document...
So between the presses and the inspection station, we have a few million bucks worth of terribly expensive metal just sitting there. We can’t have that!”
The chagrined Jerry Carstairs tries to respond. “Yes, Jim, I am well aware that the inspection station is a bottleneck. It usually isn’t nearly as bad as you found it this morning, but is a bottleneck. Much less so for the presses. You really caught us on a bad morning.” “I sure hope so,” retorts Jim, “but you need to prevent anything nearly this bad happening even occasionally. What do you propose to do about it?” Jerry now brightens noticeably in his response. “Well actually, I’ve already been working on this problem. I have a couple of proposals on the table and I have asked an operations research team on my staff to analyze these proposals and report back with recommendations.” “Great,” respond Jim, ”glad to see you on the top of the problem. Give this your highest priority and report back to me as soon as possible.” “Will do,” promises Jerry.
Here is the problem that Jerry and his operations research analyst team are addressing. Each of 10 identical presses is being used to form wing sections out of large sheets of specially processed metal. The sheets arrive randomly to the group of presses as described in the Table 1.