Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

November 2012    |    Volume: 44    |    Number: 11

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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A new way to find bottlenecks

Using descriptive statistics yields solid results with less computational burden

By Tommy White, Sankar Sengupta and Robert P. Vantil

In evaluating manufacturing system performance, throughput is an important variable to measure. Properly detecting the bottleneck machine helps improve the throughput for manufacturing systems, making such identification very important. But detecting bottlenecks in a manufacturing system is not a trivial task. The study of the problem comes under the heading of optimum production technology, lately labeled as theory of constraints. The manufacturing throughput of the bottleneck station is a main cause of a system’s variability and fluctuation in its throughput. So it is imperative to identify the bottleneck station and reduce the variability it causes for manufacturing systems.

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