Keywords: bottleneck management, throughput curves, assembly performance, visualisation, theory of constraints, TOC, bottlenecks, workload availability, materials availability, discrete event simulation
Systematic visualisation of assembly performance using throughput curves
The performance in many companies is limited through bottlenecks in manufacturing and assembly processes. For this reason, bottlenecks are often the starting point of improvement initiatives. This paper presents a visual approach for identification and evaluation of bottlenecks to ease the communication of improvement measures on the shop floor. The new developed assembly throughput curve displays the influence of two factors affecting the assembly performance – workload and material availability. The relationship between these two factors is mapped and a throughput curve is determined for an assembly station. In order to verify the findings, an event-discrete simulation is performed and analysed. Nine generic bottleneck cases have been identified and verified. Each of these generic cases can be extracted and displayed using one particular operating curve, which can be used like pictograms. The simulation supported the developed model.