Introduction Welcome to the 16th annual Arena Student Simulation contest. Your team of consultants has been hired by Masters Molding, a global leader specializing in injection molding operations, to evaluate and recommend improvements to their plant layout and resource allocation policy. Remember when you were a kid and your parents took you to the zoo? Youbegged your mom for that plastic gorilla from the machine that molded the gorilla right there before your eyes. Well, Masters Molding operations are somewhat similar; raw material is feed to equipment that molds it into a particular part. Of course these operations are much more complex, as you will soon find out. Background About this time last year, Masters was running a total of 8 injectionmolding machines with 5 operators at their Northwoods, WI facility. This operation was very manageable for the plant. However, with the downturn in the economy, two other Master’s plants were forced to close. The Northwoods facility inherited their molding machines and production requirements. Consequently, in a span of 6 months, their operations more than quadrupled – from 8 molding machines to 33!They were forced to quickly get the equipment installed and running to hit their production numbers. Unfortunately, with such a rapid expansion, there was no time to efficiently arrange the new equipment and determine the optimal resource requirements. Now that the operations are up and running, there is a new focus on the plant layout and resource allocations. The plant management is convincedthat the machine operators are logging more hours than necessary in travel time around the plant. He believes a different layout could increase worker utilization and overall plant efficiency. The equipment is heavy and very expensive to move; in part because plumbing and wiring have been customized to each location. Consequently, a structured approach to changing the layout must be taken.Additionally, the plant is considering changing the operator staffing and adding dedicated material handlers. The management team has agreed that a flexible simulation model of the existing operations and proposed design changes is critical to making a decision. There are a couple more things you should know before you begin this challenge. Masters Molding is not a real company. However, the injectionmolding operation you will be studying is an actual, real world issue being faced by a Fortune 500 Company. The injection molding layout, process flow, resource allocation policy and business rules that will be described in this case study are as they happen in the actual environment. To ensure privacy of data and operation, the company will remain confidential.
Product Description The moldingoperations are producing highly specialized parts that are components of complex electronic equipment. Figure 1 provides are a few pictures of what might be CONFIDENTIAL
produced on a given molding machine. As you can see, the sizes, shapes and details of these parts vary greatly.
aprx. 1in x 1.5in x.25in aprx. 10in x 7in x 4in
aprx. 2in x 2in x 2.5in Figure 1: Example parts produced byMasters Molding operations
Key Terminology Molding Machine – stationary piece of equipment used to produce parts Order – declares how much of each part type needs to be produced as well as other characteristics needed to produce the part Order Board – physical board that contains all the orders for each piece of equipment for the day, this is where operators start their day Die – tool that isplaced inside the molding machines and determines the form the part will take Material – resin such as nylon, acrylic and polyester that is input into the modeling machine to generate parts Dryer – portable equipment used to dry raw material prior to being used in the molding process Dryer Corral – location of portable drying machines Dryer Board – physical board that contains all the dryer orders...