In order to be sustainable in an ever growing competitive market, optimisation is required in a company
to remain reliable and respond to change. The steel fabricator, Louwill Engineering, is faced with an
imbalance in planned and actual production times in their workshop which leads to late delivery of items
to succeeding companies in the inter-company supply chain and furthermore to overall late delivery of
orders to site.
Ine cient material
ow in the fabrication facility, high levels of work-in-process inventory and non-
aligned prioritization of jobs are identi ed as the major causes of this problem. This project focusses on
eliminating wasteful time in the fabrication process and improving the material
ow within the fabrication
process with the aim of achieving a balanced state in the production time of items.
Literature research was done to identify the most appropriate techniques and methodologies to use in
solving the above-mentioned causes of the imbalance production time problem. The research reviews
di erent simulation techniques, facility layout alternatives and development algorithms and facility alter-
native selection methods.
A simulation optimisation methodology is developed as a solution to address the imbalance production
time problem. The methodology consists of the integration of simulation modelling and facility layout
design. The fabrication process of Louwill is modelled as a Discrete Event Simulation and di erent facility
layout alternatives are developed by means of the systematic layout planning procedure and alternative
improvement opportunities. The Preference Selection Index method is used to identify the best facility
alternative among those tested for the fabrication workshop.
The selected best facility alternative along with two other alternatives are analysed by means of a com-
parative study. This study analyses the a ect of a pure layout, a pure process and a combinational layout
and process improvement have on the selection attributes. These selection attributes are the time an item
spends in production, re-processes and storage areas and the time of moving an item between functional
Based on the results of the Preference Selection Index (PSI) methodology and the comparative study
it is recommended that the company changes the current facility layout to the recommended product
layout. The recommended product layout consists of a U-shaped production line with the functional
departments placed in the order of the xed process sequence, recommended for the workshop. It is also
recommended that the company implement the supplementary improvements opportunities and adopts
the xed process sequence suggested. These improvements will result in a reduction of the actual time
an item spends in the fabrication workshop as it improves the material
ow in the workshop, resulting
in more balanced planned and actual production times of items.
The company itself, the succeeding intermediate companies in the inter-company supply chain, and the
end customer will bene t from balancing the planned and actual production times of items. This balance
will result in enhanced supply chain relationships, improved fabrication process performance, customer
satisfaction, delivering of items in the promised lead time to the next intermediate company and overall
on-time delivery to the end customer.
Mini Dissertation (BEng)--University of Pretoria, 2017.