American Automobiles Limited: Production Planning
(3 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
In 2015, the managers for a major car manufacturer in the United States, American Automobiles Limited, were faced with a pressing problem in their press shop. The press shop made body panels for the company’s 10 different car models using a stamping process. In all, 137 different body panel parts were produced by six press machines. Each press had a distinct stroke rate that decided the time per stamping operation. Time was lost in changing dies, and there were limits on the lot sizes in which the panels could be stamped. Also, some panels could be stamped only on certain presses. The press shop’s managers were seeking to allocate the parts to panels in such a way that total costs could be minimized. How could they accomplish this?
This case is ideal for use at the graduate level and can be used to teach students how to formulate and solve integer linear programming models in an operations research course, or to lead a discussion on capacity planning and optimization in a production planning, operations management, or manufacturing systems management course. After discussion and analysis of the case, students should be able to
- understand the basics of a batch production planning process in the stamping shop of an automobile plant;
- apply an optimization model using integer programming in a real-life scenario;
- discuss the considerations of different costs involved in the process of decision-making during the planning phase;
- appreciate the importance of standardization; and
- discuss the impact of human relationships on process changes.
United States, Large, 2015
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