Supply planning and traffic flow planning are major activities in the automotive manufacturing environment worldwide. Supply planning directly influences the traffic within a manufacturing plant. The impact of supply planning strategies like Just-in-Time, Just-in-Sequence and Direct Supply on plant traffic is rarely considered, as supply and traffic flow planning are traditionally seen as separate activities. BMW SA and other automotive manufacturers are facing various specific problems relating to supply and traffic flow planning. One of these problems is in selecting the best supplier transportation medium among various alternatives for the supply of each part family, taking into account the effects on plant traffic. Several variables have to be considered during this decision making process, and no concrete decision support tool exists at present to assist during this process. Another specific problem faced by automotive manufacturers today lies in accessing the impact of physical relocation decisions on plant traffic. Several proposed plant layout changes and changes to the location of supplier delivery points exist for BMW Plant 9 in Rosslyn. These proposed changes will imply large relocation expenses, and will inevitably have a major impact on the traffic flow within the plant. The respective impact of these proposed layout changes have to be investigated, analysed and compared. Tools developed during this project will assist automotive manufacturers during the supply planning phase of their logistics planning process. Even though these tools can function independently, their real value is only realised once they are used in conjunction with each other as a Decision Support System (DSS) (see chapter 6: Decision Support Systems). In essence, this DSS consists of a Supply Medium Decision Support Tool (SMDST) and a traffic flow simulation model. The effects of certain decisions considered during the supply planning process (as described inChapter 2: Problem Statement) and the impact of these decisions on plant traffic can now be systematically evaluated (see Figure A): -- Firstly: by means of the SMDST, which provides critical information about the cost implication and number of deliveries required for all possible combinations of part families and delivery vehicles used -- Secondly: the simulation model’s input data file can easily be updated in accordance to the SMDST’s information in preparation of a new simulation experiment -- Thirdly: the traffic flow simulation model can be run. The model will automatically use the updated input data file and create unique results files for the scenario currently under analysis -- Fourthly: the simulation model’s results files can be viewed and compared to those of previous scenarios (See figure A in 00front) All the user requirements as stated in the user requirements specifications (sections 8.2 and 9.2) have been met. Every component of the DSS was developed generically as far as possible, allowing the user to adapt it to other similar manufacturing plants with relative ease. By utilising this DSS, scenarios can be evaluated and compared faster, more efficiently and by means of more quantitative measures than before, considerably reducing uncertainty and risk of planning. Certainly, this system supports automotive manufacturers in their quest towards manufacturing excellence in an ever-increasing internationally competitive and complex environment.
Dissertation (MEng (Industrial Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2006.