Reducing the EPEI-Time Using Discrete Event Simulation
Paper in proceedings, 2009
One of the cornerstones in LEAN production is ‘make to order’, which requires small batch sizes and, thus, short Every Part Every Interval (EPEI) times. EPEI-time is defined as the time it takes to produce all product variants, before the first variant in the cycle returns in the schedule. However, many companies are reluctant to reduce their EPEI-times due to the increased number of set-ups. This skepticism is also supported by parts of existing theory, while other research contributions mean that companies often can reduce batch-sizes without affecting productivity. This paper presents a case study which uses discrete event simulation (DES) to evaluate the relation between EPEI-time and productivity. The results show that it is possible to reduce the EPEI-time and still maintain productivity and service levels to customers, without any investments. Increased variation in the production schedule evened out the load among the machines and, hence, the time lost in set-ups was gained in more parallel work.
Discrete event simulation