To determine the true capacity of a process or a site, a holistic analysis needs to be conducted. This therefore needs to integrate all Technical, Logistical & Operational elements (and their interconnectivities) within the boundaries of the process or facility into a single capacity analysis. Through this the effect of upstream and downstream elements can be understood and incorporated within the modelling. This integrated model allows for a true bottleneck analysis of the process or site to be conducted.
When referring to a process, the true capacity of the current process can be accurately determined, and this can be used to derive two key outputs:
- The theoretical maximum capacity of the process, if all non-value adding steps are removed.
- The optimal configuration of my process that will yield the desired output capacity with the least cost.
When related to a site, apart from determining the true capacity of the site, two secondary key concepts are to determine the maximum capacity a site can achieve based on site specific constraints and its sensitivity to change.
- The sites maximum capacity is obtained by further progressing the models developed for the site’s current capacity. This is often done together with a Site Expansion Plan to ensure alignment. Typical constraints limiting the ultimate capacity of a site tend to be: available space; traffic (both internal and external to the site); legislative; water supply; or effluent discharge.
- The sensitivity of the site to change could be due to anything from: the introduction of new products; evolving product portfolios; or due to stricter standards (legislative or internally developed). The effects of these can be assessed by changing model inputs.
Typical capacity analysis dimensions include the following aspects:
- The true output of a manufacturing facility
- Service throughput capacity
- Packaging and/or
- Production capacity
- Warehouse capacity
- Distribution Centre /Depot capacity
- Raw Material Storage capacity
- Staging or Parking capacity