Production Planning Optimization for an Automotive Supplier

Production Planning Optimization for an Automotive Supplier

Bravo Delta Simulation was founded in 2023; it is a new company with a fresh eye on the simulation market. The company aims to make modeling accessible; they democratize the solution for businesses beyond the Fortune 500.

Bravo Delta helps with digital transformation for manufacturing optimization and the development of decision support tools, deals with production flow scheduling, and more. The case study represents their approach to solving Mayco International's production planning issues using optimization.

Mayco is a Tier 1 automotive supplier with headquarters in Michigan. It specializes in the design and manufacturing of automotive components and systems. It serves numerous automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) worldwide, offering solutions for both passenger and commercial vehicles.

Organization of original equipment manufacturers in automotive business

Automotive business organization for original equipment manufacturers

Problem

Mayco manufactures three products (A, B, and C), each divided into type 1 and type 2. The production volume target for a year is:

Scheme of Mayco International manufacturing area used for production planning optimization

Scheme of Mayco International manufacturing area used for production planning optimization (click to enlarge)

Manufacturing has two production processes (Process 1 and Process 2, shown in the picture on the right) that A, B, and C products go through. For example, B1 goes through Process 1, first and third blocks, and then it is moved to Process 2, third and fifth blocks.

Each step requires a different amount of time for each process and a tool changeover. Especially in Process 1, at block three, the production switches from A1 to B1 to C1, and at block four, from A2 to B2 to C2. Additionally, these two processes have different schedules:

At first, Mayco tried to simulate production with Excel, but such a varied issue cannot be modeled there. However, the company still needed to prove that the current level of production planning optimization was enough to reach the target volume. Also, they wanted to make sure that they were utilizing their equipment in the most efficient way possible.

Solution

Together with the client, Bravo Delta defined the core requirements for the model and sorted through the data they needed and the data that could be excluded. Then, in AnyLogic simulation software, Bravo Delta built the initial model that would be used for further production planning optimization and sent it to Mayco.

After the review, the client approved the logic but asked for some minor fixes: scrap rates, downtime probabilities, and inventory monitoring. With the changes implemented, the new model was verified.

The AnyLogic model of Mayco manufacturing area

The AnyLogic model verified by Mayco and used for production planning optimization

Bravo Delta provided Mayco management with a simulation model with straightforward logic that was simple for a non-engineering person to understand. The employees may use it to test hypotheses seamlessly, and for a non-engineering specialist, there are no foreign elements.

Also, to make the model more transparent for Mayco managers, Bravo Delta used the plant CAD layout as the model foundation, which benefited both sides. For Mayco, this CAD layout is something they are familiar with; they use it for all the stages of production planning optimization. For Bravo Delta, it was effortless to import the layout file into AnyLogic, set the scale, and get the exact simulation of the plant.

To learn more about how to speed up converting CAD drawings into walls in AnyLogic software, check out the blog post.

Results

The main question that worried Mayco was whether they could meet their customers' volume requirements. In this regard, the simulation showed a positive result.

The model output data chart

The model output data representing achieved targets after production planning optimization

Bravo Delta's production planning simulation model proved that with the equipment Mayco was going to buy and special parameters set, it would meet the demand.

Mayco International currently benefits from the optimized production schedule generated by the AnyLogic model. Bravo Delta's verification of digital transformation feasibility for Mayco's manufacturing underscores the importance of simulation, allowing for testing of schedules and resource requirements before implementing them in reality.

Braden Butkovich and Dominic Finazzo of Bravo Delta Simulation presented the case study at the AnyLogic Conference 2023.

The slides are available as a PDF.


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