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National Cranberry Essay

Questions
1. What are the most critical problems facing National Cranberry that Mr. Schaeffer must address? What are some potential causes of these problems? What potential solutions do you suggest?

Problems and potential causes:
1. Overtime costs: the root cause of this issue depends on how effectively workers could be scheduled. Workers in this industry tend to have problems with absenteeism. A higher than expected absenteeism would translate to overtime pay for workers already in the plant. This will add a spike to the overtime costs. In 1970, approximately 35% of total man-hours were overtime labor. 2. Long wait time for unloading process fruit: the root cause of this issue depends on the throughput of the receiving plant’s operations, i.e. destoning, dechaffing, drying, milling, bulk loading, and bagging.

Solutions:
1. To address the issue with skyrocketing overtime costs, Mr. Schaeffer should try to understand what is causing workers to be absent more often than expected. Possible ways to reduce absenteeism include: talking to your employees about the problem; create a plant policy to encourage attendance; use a tracking tool (like a calendar or time sheet) to better understand trends in attendance. 2. To address the wait time issue, NCC will need to analyze the plant operations to pin-point the bottlenecks and find ways, e.g. redesign the plant, invest in resources, to reduce these bottlenecks.

2. Draw a process flow diagram for Receiving Plant #1. For each step in the process flow indicate:

Following are figures that illustrate the processes within RP1 (from A to F). Figure [ 1 ]: Receiving Process

Figure [ 2 ]: Temporary Holding Process

Figure [ 3 ]: Cleaning & Drying Process

Figure [ 4 ]: Separation Process

Figure [ 5 ]: Bulking and Bagging Process

3. Recall the definition of a capacity bottleneck from Module 1. Identify the potential capacity bottleneck(s) in the process. How does the mix of wet and dry berries impact the capacity of the system?

The unloading process has 5 – 10 minutes / truck. Taking average of 7.5 minutes for a truck to dump and the average truck load weight at 75 bbls, each Kiwanne dumper can dump 600 bbls/hr. For the total 5 dumpers, the unloading capacity is 3000 bbls/hr.

To ensure that the trucks are not waiting the overall capacity of the receiving process should be at least 3000 bbls/hr. This should be our desired capacity to overcome delay issues.

Temporary holding has a capacity of the bins is 4000 bbls for dry fruit and 3200 bbls for wet fruit.

The wet fruit goes through de-chaffing and drying process, while the dry fruit goes through de-stoning and de-chaffing process. On average, the wet fruit inflow is more than dry fruit but the dryer has a capacity of 600 bbls/hr compared to other serial processes like dechaffing with 4500 bbls/hr. The dry fruit does not have the bottleneck since both de-stoning and de-chaffing are at 4500 bbls/hr. (even though the de-chaffing capacity is split between dry & wet fruits). With higher volume of wet fruit coming in, the biggest bottle neck is in dryers.

On the separator lines, the three lines had overall capacity of 1200 bbls/hr, which is considerably lower than the 4500 bbls capacity of de-stoning and de-chaffing units.

The initial capacity bottleneck is the dryers, and requires substantial increase in capacity. (even assuming 50% inflow of wet fruits, we need additional 5 dryers). If this is addressed, it does not solve the problem, since the total separator lines capacity is well below the desired capacity. The problem is more pronounced, when the mix of wet berries goes higher due to the dryers.


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