Kroon s Gourmet Chickens is a chicken farm that rears its own chickens and processes
these chickens so as to be sold to the public and major corporations. At the abattoir of the
company, there is a continuous need to increase the throughput of the system as the
demand for products is ever increasing and unsatisfied. The packaging department of the
abattoir was identified by management as the bottleneck of the system, yielding the lowest
throughput of all the departments within the company.
A thorough literature study is conducted in order to find, analyse and utilise various industrial
engineering tools and techniques that analyses the current layout, aids in the process to
identify weaknesses in the current layout, provides tools to generate, plan and optimise
alternative layouts, to evaluate these layouts technically and economically, and to choose
the layout that optimally satisfies the problem definition of the project. The problem definition
is to increase the throughput of the packaging department of the abattoir of Kroon s Gourmet
The Systematic Layout Planning methodology is the foundation according to which the
project is conducted. The current layout of the abattoir and the packaging department is
analysed using flow charts and relationship diagrams. The seven wastes are identified and
analysed, with the adherence to the lean thinking methodology discussed. The economic
aspects of the current layout that will influence the evaluation of alternative layouts are
identified and discussed. Finally, the material handling techniques and the space
requirements of the layout is analysed.
Two general approaches to the improvement of any production line s throughput are made.
The approaches being automation and improved material flow routes within the department.
For the automation alternative, plans are drawn up to implement two conveyors in the
packaging department with aligning workstations to speed up the product flow of the
department and to minimise the inter-departmental material flow. The improved material flow
routes layout is designed with the intent to minimise the number of cross flow routes
intersection points of different materials within the department, and to decrease the amount
of object and material sets travelling within the department. Flow process charts are drawn
up for the two layouts and the products it delivers, being whole and portioned chickens, with
the decrease in travelling and processing times calculated. These times are used as the
basis for the economic analysis and the throughput evaluation between the layouts and the
current layout in the evaluation of alternatives. The layouts improvements on the seven
wastes are discussed along with changes in any material handling techniques.
After the layouts were analysed by the Analytic Hierarchy Process model, according to
criteria that best distinguishes the advantages of the layouts, being potential delays, ease of
maintenance, throughput and annual operating cost, the best layout was determined as the
layout design based on the conveyors in the department. This layout s score of the Analytic
Hierarchy Process was 58.03%, with a throughput increase in the packaging department of
Mini-dissertation (Final year project) (BEng)--University of Pretoria, 2015.