Zoom makes bikes to order, receiving customer orders via a network of retailers. Once a customer picks a configuration, the retailer emails the order to Zoom. The most popular model is the Pike, which Zoom manufactures with the following process. First, Greg checks the order for consistency and prepares instructions for the subsequent operations. When the process operates at capacity, Greg’s utilization is 40%. Once Greg is done, the order moves to both Amit and Lance, who can work on their respective tasks in parallel. Amit picks the correct frame from inventory and spray paints the frame using Zoom’s proprietary technology. When the process operates at capacity, Amit’s utilization is 100%. When the frame is ready, Amit passes it on to final assembly and testing (FAT). Lance is in charge of wheel building and brake subassembly. Lance selects and mounts tires and disk brake rotors on the wheels to order based on the customer’s weight. When the process operates at capacity, he is busy 60% of the time. Once the wheels are ready, Lance passes them on to Anna, whose tasks include assembling the shock absorbers and testing them together with the wheels on special equipment. Anna requires 20 minutes for these tasks, and her utilization is 50% when the process operates at capacity. When done, Anna passes the tested wheels and shocks on to FAT. At FAT, there are four equally competent workers, Britney, Tiffany, Ivy and Bob. When the frame, wheels and shocks for a customer order are all complete, one of these four workers takes these components and assembles them with other parts (handle bar, saddle, etc.) into the finished bike. (That is, only one employee works on a given bike at FAT.) When the process operates at capacity, the FAT resource pool’s utilization is 80%.
a) Draw the process flowchart.
b) What is the theoretical capacity of the Pike production process in bikes per hour?
c) What are the activity times for all the activities of the Pike production process (in minutes/bike)?
d) What is the theoretical flow time for a Pike bike?
e) Lance and Greg have the following argument. Lance claims that it is possible to simultaneously increase the capacity and reduce the theoretical flow time of the Pike bike production process simply by reducing the activity time of a single (carefully selected) activity while keeping the process otherwise unchanged. Greg, however, claims that this is not possible. Who is right and why?
f) Suppose that Bob (one of the people doing the final assembly and testing) quits his job and no one replaces him. What impact does this have on the theoretical flow time and the theoretical capacity