Thesis Details


Thesis Title: A model to measure the economic value of productivity, quality, and flexibility in yarn manufacturing relative to technology decisions
Thesis Author: Todd Webber
Abstract: Significant advances in manufacturing technology require new methods to measure potential changes in performance that more accurately reflects the value of technology in yarn manufacturing. Typically, total performance of an operation is measured by simple productivity indicators, such as output per man-hour, or cost per unit. The textile industry also uses labor or other partial productivity measures rather than a measurement including all affected factors. This study considered three main components of manufacturing performance: productivity, quality, and flexibility. Productivity is commonly measured and evaluated: however, quality and flexibility were harder to justify because of difficulties in quantifying the economic value of these factors. The first step in the model's development was designing cost equations that measured a plant's economic value of productivity, quality, and flexibility. These equations represent each factor associated with an operation. The common determinant in each equation is the planning horizon or time period under investigation. This allowed for the total performance equation to consider all factors involved. The second step of the model's development centers around the output value of an operation. The output value is made up of the output pounds per planning horizon and the price received per pound. It was found that output value is influenced by customers' perception of the product's value. Thus, a change in plant technology should ultimately affect both customer perceived value and plant output value. The model was designed to consider these relationships. The resultant model from this research has been found to be a useful tool in measuring a plant's economic value for either the estimation of technoiogy changes or the signalling of deficient economic value factors within the operation. It was concluded that measuring an operation's economic value using only partial factors can give misleading results. This model is designed to assist in the decision process for considering new technology changes to an existing yarn manufacturing plant. It was concluded that using the economic value analysis model allows a facility's management to more accurately gauge how a technology change will affect the present economic value of the operation.