Thesis Details

Thesis Title: Evaluating the use of finite capacity scheduling simulation techniques to improve manufacturing performance in textile processing facilities
Thesis Author: Macil Miller
Abstract: The U.S. textile industry is directly competitive with foreign manufacturers for a dominant position in the international marketplace. To maximize this position, textile manufacturers must find opportunities to reduce manufacturing costs and increase production efficiency. Scheduling is an area in manufacturing which offers opportunities to optimize production processes and achieve effective production controls. Finite capacity scheduling techniques utilize concepts of forward scheduling, backward scheduling, and optimization algorithms to generate a schedule which is limited by the facility's true operating capacities. A finite scheduling system can be interfaced with the current Material Requirements Planning systems and Shop Floor Data Collection systems to fully integrate the production planning and scheduling process to achieve optimal utilization of resources. The purpose of this research was to evaluate finite capacity scheduling to determine its applicability in textile facilities and to determine potential improvements. A finite capacity scheduling program was used in a wet processing operation to illustrate the complex constraints involved in textile processing. A model was developed in the system which specified machine layouts, capacities, process routings, and setup times. This model was used to replicate the production environment to produce an accurate schedule based on a realistic view of the production processes. Order data were scheduled in the system using optimization algorithms to generate a seven-day schedule. The schedule was evaluated based on work-in-process levels, output, machine utilization, and manufacturing lead time. Based on the data evaluated, the finite system effectively managed work-in-process levels to decrease the level over time. Manufacturing lead time was also decreased. Potential benefits are available for each facility that attempts to implement a new scheduling approach. It allows a complete analysis of processing methods to be performed and differences noted to be explained and corrected if necessary. Standardization of processes will improve the consistency and quality of production controls.