June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
3.600.1 - 3.600.7
USE OF A PHYSICAL SIMULATION TO TEACH ASSEMBLY LINE AND KAIZEN CONCEPTS CHARLIE P. EDMONSON The University of Dayton
Many students in lower level courses are not familiar with manufacturing or assembly plants and thus have trouble understanding many of the concepts pertaining to production and operations management. Concepts such as scheduling, assembly line balancing, Just-in-time, theory of constraints, etc., are difficult to grasp without some physical demonstration. This paper discusses a simulation exercise used to aid in teaching these concepts in a course on Production Methods and Controls.
The Industrial Engineering Technology Program at the University of Dayton offers a three- semester hour course in Production Methods and Controls. It is an introduction to the principles and current practices of optimizing the production of goods and services. Concepts covered in the course include forecasting, inventory management, bills of material, material requirements planning, scheduling, just-in-time, set-up-reduction, and theory of constraints. The course is taught using lectures and videotapes that explain and demonstrate examples of various concepts. Still many students have trouble grasping the concepts because they have never been in a manufacturing facility. In order to give the students some hands-on experience, a physical simulation exercise was developed. The exercise simulates the assembly of an airplane. As part of the exercise students perform time studies, and experience the effects of different lot sizes, push and pull systems, and performing constraint management. In his “Anniversary Comments,” Lawrence J. Wolf indicates that in addition to attending classes, Engineering Technology students participate in experiences that simulate the work environment and require them to use equipment and instruments, record data, compute results, and write reports1. Thus, a laboratory- type experience was deemed an important addition to this class.
DESIGN OF THE EXERCISE
The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate how an assembly line works, to demonstrate the difference between a “push” and a “pull” system, demonstrate the concept of bottlenecks in the context of the theory of constraints, and what is meant by lot sizes. The exercise is designed to simulate assembly of the XF-27 Fighter Aircraft. Students are assigned to workstations to facilitate the assembly process. Other students are assigned to perform time studies of the workers who are performing direct labor activities.
Edmonson, C. P. (1998, June), Use Of A Physical Simulation To Teach Assembly Line And Kaizen Concepts Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/7490
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