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Circuit Board Fabricators, Inc. Case Analysis - Week 3

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Autor:   •  December 29, 2010  •  Case Study  •  1,180 Words (5 Pages)  •  3,349 Views

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Case Summary

Circuit Board Fabricators, Inc. is a small manufacturer of circuit boards located in California. (Chase, Jacobs, and Aquilano, 2004) Large computer companies such as Apple and Hewlett-Packard hire Circuit Board Fabricators to "make boards for prototypes of new products." (Chase, et al., 2004) The case study suggests that Circuit Board Fabricators has a good business plan established within the organization. CBF has implemented a largely automated process using industry standard codes to produce the four circuit boards that have been developed to be able to give quick and high quality service.

There have been recent losses experienced by CBF, due to the system that is currently in place. The policy has changed and all orders placed now are being increased by 25%. The policy now places stress on the running system. On a highly-productive day, the plant produces 700 circuit boards, but "was designed to run 1,000 boards per day when running five days a week and one eight-hour shift per day." CBF has hired a consultant to discuss the reasons why they are not able to produce 1,000 boards per day as created. The following analysis will address the process flow structure, the capacity of the process, losses of the process, short and long-term recommendations for improvement opportunities.

Case Question #1: What type of process flow structure is CBF using?

CBF Inc. uses a job shop process flow structure, one of the four major process flow structures identified in the text. A job shop process flow structure is a "production of small batches of a large number of different products." (Chase, 2003). Further, job shop process "is a flexible operation that has several activities through which work can pass. In a job shop, it is not necessary for all activities to be performed on all products, and their sequence may be different for different products." (NetMBA, 2007)

Case Question #2: Diagram the process in a manner similar to Exhibit 5.15.

Operation No. Operation Description Dept. Setup/hr Rate Pc. Hr.

1. Order Acceptance Engineering

2. NC Machine Programming Engineering

3. Board Fabrication

a. Load Fabrication 5 0.33

b. Clean Fabrication 0.5

c. Coat Fabrication 0.5

d. Unload Fabrication 0.33

e. Expose Fabrication 15 1.72

f. Load Fabrication 5 0.33

g. Develop Fabrication 0.33

h. Inspect Fabrication 0.5

i. Bake Fabrication 0.33

j. Unload Fabrication 0.33

k. Drilling Fabrication 15 1.5

l. Copper Plate Fabrication 5 0.2

m. Final Test Quality Assurance 15 2.69

4. Shipping

Total per Part: 9.59

Case Question #3: Analyze the capacity of the process?

The capacity of the flow process is at an imbalance. It takes nearly Ñ* of an hour just to load and unload the circuit boards. There is a significant amount of manual labor in this flow process in which human error must be taken into consideration. It appears that some of the stations may be run by an inefficient amount of operators. Lastly, with 6 employees on 6 machines for the final inspection, the end of the process should not take as long as it does.

Case Question #4: What is the impact of losses in the process in Inspection and Final Test?

The impact of the losses in the system is quite extensive. It is stated that 15% of the board are typically rejected during an early processing inspection along with an additional 5% rejected during the final testing. This results in a production order increase of 25%. Ultimately, the first inspection should not be a bottleneck of this process and there should not be any rejected boards in the final inspection.

Question #5: What recommendations would you make for a short-term solution to CBF's problems?

A short-term solution may be to extend the work day so that 8 production hours are optimized during a 5 working day week. If this solution produces results, then this could be a possible long-term solution. Another possible production hour solution would be to incorporate 4 10-hour working days. Again, the number of boards produced would quickly determine if this is indeed a long-term solution.

Question #6: What long-term recommendations would you make?



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