University of Twente Student Theses


Increasing the throughput at insulating and degassing medium voltage cables

Boerrigter, T.H. (2019) Increasing the throughput at insulating and degassing medium voltage cables.

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Abstract:In this research we find an answer to the question how to increase the throughput at insulating and degassing medium voltage cables. The setting of this research is Twentsche Kabelfabriek (TKF) location Haaksbergen, department ‘Energie’. In an assessment of the ongoing problems in their production line, we encounter the core problem that states that short-term decisions do not take the whole production line into account. Because the whole production line is quite complex, we narrow our scope to the insulating and degassing stages. We describe the production line within our scope with relevance to our KPIs. These KPIs are throughput, lateness in delivery and standstill of degassing rooms. For measuring these KPIs, we want to have a framework accompanied by a solving method. Of course, there are multiple frameworks and solving methods, and we have to choose the one that fits our situation best. This is done by a review of regularly used frameworks. When comparing, we found that creating a custom algorithm to our situation suits best, and a heuristic must be applied to solve it. For this, we chose steepest hill climbing. Both the custom algorithm and the heuristic are written in Visual Basic for Applications, because of TKF’s familiarity with Excel and VBA. We have created an Excel tool that retrieves data from the database of TKF and creates a production schedule. Based on the intentions of the user, both the conceptual schedule and the schedule created by steepest hill climbing can be obtained independently of each other. The tool has to purpose to be easy to use and has several options to specify the situation. This tool is also the basis on which we have retrieved our results and conducted our experiments. For the results, we have created three different situations. First, we used the standard situation, after which we conducted two experiments with the following conditions: 1. No standstill of degassing rooms allowed, 2. First two orders are locked. The data for these situations were retrieved at 8 different points in time. Throughput can be improved significantly by applying the steepest hill climbing heuristic. On average a positive change up to 21,8% was retrieved in the standard situation. Experiments resulted in a lower throughput, but all showed improvement. The lateness in delivery showed us that initially sometimes half of the product are expected to be delivered too late. Steepest hill climbing and the experiments did not really change these numbers. Standstill of degassing rooms were highest when applying steepest hill climbing, which gives the impression that a higher use of the degassing rooms does not always result in a higher throughput. We advise TKF to apply steepest hill climbing with the first two orders locked to create a production schedule. Further, additional research can be done to approach a more continuous schedule which leads to a more realistic expectation.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:01 general works, 50 technical science in general, 58 process technology
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management BSc (56994)
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