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Beck Manufacturing and Plant Capacity

Read the “Beck Manufacturing” case study in Chapter 8 of your text. In a three- to four-page paper, address the following:

  • Calculate the capacity of each machine center and the capacity of the system.
  • Analyze where the focus of the company’s efforts should be if Beck wants to expand capacity. Determine how much extra capacity he can get without causing another operation to become the bottleneck.
  • Suggest ways Beck can expand capacity without purchasing new equipment.

Your paper should be in paragraph form (avoid the use of bullet points) and supported with the concepts outlined in your text and additional scholarly sources.

Submit your three- to four-page paper (not including the title and reference pages). Your paper must be formatted according to APA style as outlined in and must cite at least three scholarly sources in addition to the textbook.

Beck Manufacturing

Al Beck, president of Beck manufacturing, wants to determine the capacity of his facility, which produces steering gears for auto manufacturers. He has asked you to sort through the data and determine the capacity of the system and how that capacity may be increased. The operation is a product layout that produces large numbers of nearly identical products. The process includes milling, grinding, boring, drilling, and assembling, in that order. Each finished product requires one operation on each type of machine. For example, each finished part is processed on one of the five milling machines, one of the seven grinding machines, etc.

The facility runs two 8-hour shifts per day, with a third shift for maintenance. The industrial engineering department has provided you with the following data on present operations. In addition, you have been told that assembly operations, while not unlimited, can be easily changed to meet the need.

Operation Number ofMachines Run Time per Piece(min.) % Reject Rate
Milling 5 2 3
Grinding 7 3 5
Boring 3 1 2
Drilling 6 2.5 7
  1. Calculate the capacity of each machine center and the capacity of the system.
  2. If Beck wants to expand capacity, where should he focus the company’s efforts? How much extra capacity can he get without causing another operation to become the bottleneck?
  3. How may Mr. Beck expand capacity without purchasing new equipment? Be specific.

Discussion Questions

Click on each question to reveal the answer.

  1. What is capacity, and why is it important?
  2. Why is it difficult to estimate capacity? Is capacity a constant? Why or why not?
  3. Should an organization always attempt to match its capacity to its estimate of demand? Why or why not?
  4. Capacity decisions are strategically important. Agree or disagree with the statement, and support your position.
  5. What factors influence the capacity of an organization? List three factors, and explain how they influence capacity.
  6. Explain in detail the difference between departmental and system capacity.
  7. What are the principles for determining system capacity in the product layout?
  8. What are the principles for determining system capacity in the process layout?
  9. How does a change in the product mix effect system capacity?
  10. What are the important decisions for capacity planners?
  11. What are the key factors that determine when to add capacity?
  12. What are the key factors that determine how much capacity to add?
  13. Why would an organization want to reduce its capacity?

Problems

  1. Determine the system capacity and the bottleneck department in the following line flow process. The capacities in pieces per hour for departments A, B, and C are 5,250, 4,650, and 5,300, respectively.
  2. Determine the system capacity and the bottleneck department in the following line flow process. The capacities in tons per hour for departments A, B, C, and D are 2,200, 1,100, 1,600, and 2,500, respectively. For each ton of output from depart�ment B that is input to department D, two tons from department C must be added.
  3. Answer the following questions using the information in Problem 2:
    1. How much can the system capacity be increased by adding capacity to the bottleneck department?
    2. How much capacity must be added to the bottleneck department to achieve this increase in system capacity?
    3. Which department is the new bottleneck department?
  4. Examine the following line flow process:
    1. Determine the system capacity.
    2. Determine which department is the bottleneck.
    3. Determine how much capacity can be gained by adding capacity to the bottleneck.
    4. Explain your answers to a, b, and c.
    5. How would the analysis change if department A achieved an 85% yield? Recalculate a, b, and c.

    Department Capacity (Parts/Hour)
    A 120
    B 110
    C 140
    D 160
  5. Macro Galvanizing coats sheet steel for the appliance industry in its plant in Gary, Indiana. Macro has one  

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