Assembly Line Efficiency Gain at an Automobile Manufacturing Facility
In this paper, the productivity of engine assembly lines of an automobile manufacturing facility is improved by eliminating starvation in the main-line and the block-line. First, the current efficiency of the real system is measured, and the building blocks of engine assembly lines are carefully incorporated into a SIMUL8 simulation model. The input data are gathered, and the parameters of target data distributions are estimated and incorporated into the simulation model. The current states of performance are examined for feeder and main line downtimes, run rates, takt time of the production line, as well as push and pull factors. The simulation model is verified to be accurate according to line layout of engine assembly line, and the current efficiency is found out to be 96%. Further analysis focused on validating the current process model and improving the simulation model. After careful analysis of stage by stage results and the simulation model, it was revealed that three activities in the model are the bottlenecks due to lack of input. Therefore, buffers were introduced in the process to streamline the process, and the resulting SIMUL8 model improved the efficiency to 97.2% which is close to the ideal target of 97.5%. Further investigation focused on uncertainty analysis, bottleneck analysis, root cause analysis, and verification and validation.
Keywords - Engine Assembly Line, Main-Line, Block-Line, Bottleneck, Simulation Model, SIMUL8