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Case Study: Circuit Board Fabricators

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1.    What type of process flow structure is CBF using?

CBF uses the batch process flow structure. In the batch process flow structure, products are manufactured in particular sized batches, with every batch going through the manufacturing process and structure. The batch process is characterized by a sequential flow of processes whereby various methods are consistent with all the products ("Process Flow Structure", 2007). The manufacturing process of CBF follows the characteristics of the Batch method. 

2.    Diagram the process in a manner similar to Exhibit 7.7.


3.    Analyze the capacity of the process.

Process analysis comprises of several capacity adjustments in various parts of the production activity to minimize costs and maximize outputs using the resources available ("Process Flow Structure", 2007). The CBF’s plant was established to produce one thousand boards each day running for an eight-hour shift per day for five days every week. CBF supplies circuit boards from their production plant to various huge technology-device providers like Hewlett-Packard and Apple Company (Ritzman & Klassen, 2007). The manufacturing process of CBF comprises of twenty-two employees working an eight-hour shift each day. The batch process of the organization runs at a rate of 9.92 minutes per part (Ritzman & Klassen, 2007). However, the process has several disadvantages. In the first categories of the manufacturing process, specifically during the first inspection, fifteen percent of the products are rejected. Moreover, during the final test, an additional five percent of the boards are refused. The rejections interfere with the capacity of the manufacturing process of the CBF.      

4.    What is the impact of losses in the process in Inspection and Final Test?

The various products’ loss experienced in CBF’s manufacturing process of circuit boards occurs in the boards’ inspection and final tests. The losses have a huge impact on the number of boards produced since they reduce the overall capacity of the products made by CBF. According to the statistics, CBF accounts for twenty-five percent losses in every batch. With a single batch comprising of sixty boards, the company is forced to increase the order by twenty-five percent (Ritzman & Klassen, 2007). Therefore, in order to effectively produce a single order of sixty boards, the company has to commence the manufacturing process with seventy-five circuit board blanks. The loss arises from the fifteen percent losses that occur in the inspection test and the five percent loss that occurs in the final test (Ritzman & Klassen, 2007). For every order, CBF loses fifteen circuit boards. Therefore, for every one thousand boards presented in the manufacturing process, CBF produces only seven hundred and fifty boards as final products. It means that for every one thousand boards injected in the manufacturing process, two hundred and fifty boards are lost due to rejections in the two tests. This is a huge loss since it increases the production cost of the boards produced each day.              

5.    What recommendations would you make for a short-term solution to CBF’s problems?

As for a short-term solution to CBF’s manufacturing process, I would recommend that the company check the efficiency of each and every machine operating in the first four levels of the processes. The initial four levels seem to be the major cause of the fifteen percent loss that occurs in the whole manufacturing process. I would recommend that the organization seek skilled technicians who will be monitoring the performance of the machines and making various improvements to ensure that the machines are working efficiently constantly.     

6.    What long-term recommendations would you make?

As for a long-term solution, I would advise CBF to increase the number of machines at each stage of production to reduce tear and wear of ones. In stages with only one machine, they are overloaded, and it leads to quickened wearing which ultimately reduces inefficiency. Therefore, increasing the number of machines will ensure that all ones perform effectively for a long duration of time.   

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