Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Lean Manufacturing game played in Alliance University, Bangalore..

It was an interesting lean manufacturing game which we played in the class this morning.  

A lean video

The game enabled the students to understand many concepts related to manufacturing in general and lean in particular and the final relationship between the need to reduce waste, improve quality and finally improving the profitability of the company.

The tabulation sheet for the game is given here ..

Objectives of the game :

1. to teach the concepts and benefits of assembly line, push and pull manufacturing

2. to create awareness of concepts relating to waste reduction and quality assurance, quality inspection 

3. to teach concepts of raw material inventory, work-in-process inventory and finished goods inventory

4. to teach the concept of profitability in manufacturing and how lean manufacturing combined with pull can improve profitability

5. to teach the concept of producing to exacting standards as set by the customer, with penalties for each unit of incomplete output.

6. to teach the concept of  cycle time computations, balancing the work load between work stations to see that no workstation takes more processing time than the cycle time of the line.

Players needed : 4 students each to a team, max four or five teams.

Procedure : Each team is asked to assemble any design of paper planes that can fly, from used half A4 sheets in any predefined sequence as decided by the teams, which they should not deviate from later.

The game has four sessions to be played with students 

A white board is needed with marker pen to draw the customised designs to be drawn on the upper side and bottom side of the wings and to keep track of profitability computations. (click the link for free Google spread sheet provided by the author ..)

Items needed for each team : 
1. 50 sheets of used A4 sheets 
2. Sketch pen, 1 no.

Game is played for 4 sessions.

Session 1, push type of production, producing as much as possible, with defects, low quality output and good quality output mixed.

Session 2, pull type of production, demanding customer asking for high quality and low output

Session 3, pull type of production, demanding customer asking for higher quality and high output

Session 4, pull type, very demanding customer asking for higher output and penalty for each incompleted unit of output. 

The customer is only willing to pay for completely finished units of output, not for incomplete work-in-process, defects of final output and lastly the customer also gets the freedom to penalise the manufacturer if the needed output is not met.

Quality Inspectors are assigned one from each team will inspect the quality of output from other teams, in any random order after each session of the game. One unit from each batch can be flown by the quality inspectors to check for the airworthiness of the plane. 

Session 1 

Demo of Push Manufacturing leading to quality problems, defects and hence losses. 

a. Each team of 4 members were given enough A4 sheets of papers and asked to make as many planes as possible in assembly line manufacturing during a 5 minute time period,

b. Different teams can make different models, but they should be consistent with whatever models they are making.

c. After manufacturing, each plane had to be customised by having some set simple designs, like three equal length lines, three circles equally distant  etc. painted on each of the plane wings on the top side and the under side etc...

d. At four workstations in the assembly line, the teams had to assign work to each player and get maximum output out. The players will work very fast hoping to maximise the output.

e. After 5 minutes time is over, the output from each teams is checked by the Quality Inspectors.

f. Final profit computation : Profit = a - (b+c+d)
                 a. Profit of Rs (or $) one lakh is given for each completed and accepted high quality plane.
                 b. Each work-in-process, at any stage, except for RM, results in deduction of Rs (or $) 50,000.
                 c. Each defective part from the output also results in processing costs of Rs. (or $) 50,000 and is deducted from the final profits.
                 d. Each unit promised but not completed ( in Session 4) is charged a penalty of Rs.(or $) 50,000 and is deducted from the final profits.

g. The profits of each teams are written on the white board for everyone to see (including the profit computations, Profit = a - (b+c+d)

The game is then repeated for Session 2, a pull setup, where now instead of the teams manufacturinghow much ever they want to, they are aked to manufacture as per the customer demand of 5 planes in a 5 minute time period.

The final profit calculations as in the prevous case are done.

In Session 3, the customers ask for higher number of planes to be manufactured, say 8 planes in a 5 minute time period and the calculations are carried out as given above.

In Session 4, the customer gets even more demanding, besides asking for 8 planes in a 5 minute time period, he wishes to impose a fine of Rs (or $) 50,000 for each plane not delivered.

At the end of the game, which can be completed in about 90 minutes, the players will get idea of balanced production, working to reduce waste and defects, improving value in the output and improving profitability among others.

The tabulation sheet for the game is given here ..

(If you have benefited by playing this game with your students or industry participabnts, pl do drop in a word of appreciation and thanks to .. Thanks .. )

Copyright George Easaw 2016, Alliance University, Bangalore, India.

George Easaw.

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