Benefits of batch size reduction

Last update: December 31st, 2008
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Production Batch

First, let's clarify what is meant with production batch.

Let us consider a machine on which to process a number of parts. These parts to be processed are the Production Batch. In our example, the container holding the parts before processing has 12 parts.


At the begining of production, the first part is set onto the machine to be processed, while 11 others wait for their turn.






Once the first part is done, it is moved to the container after the machine. While machining the second part, 11 keep waiting: the fisrt in the finished parts container, 10 others in the container before the machine, waiting for their turn.






It will be so until the twelfth part; 11 others parts keep waiting, in front or after the machine.






Once the twelfth is done, the whole production batch is now done. It can be moved to the next operation, but while waiting for transfert, all 12 parts keep waiting.

If machine cycle for one part is one hour, the production batch canot be moved to next step in less than 12 hours.

This happens frequently in workshops. The bigger the batch size, the more parts keep waiting, evenonly one part can be processed each time.

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the author is managing partner in a consulting firm.

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It is usual to find parts dwelling more than 90% of their time in the factory.




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