University of Twente Student Theses


Improving the production planning of Gietart Kaltenbach

Diermen, M. van (2022) Improving the production planning of Gietart Kaltenbach.

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Abstract:The company where the research is conducted, Gietart Kaltenbach – located in Hengelo – designs, engineers, and produces several types of shot blasting machines for steel service treatment. These machines are used to remove the unwanted corrosion and the metallic waste on finished goods. Gietart Kaltenbach is a project-based manufacturer, meaning that complex products (machines) are build that require long build times and a client-specific design. This research is connected to the production planning that is made by the team leaders on the production floor. Motivation After the creation of a problem cluster, it can be derived that reliable decisions cannot be made with the current production planning. This has two main causes: there is no clear structure between the production planning and the production process, and the data of the ERP system BaaN is not connected to the production planning on both the tactical and the operational level. Eventually decision-making on the tactical level (e.g., accepting or declining a project order) and on the operational level (e.g., adding or removing production orders (POs) in the current production planning) need to be possible with the future production planning. Research Question Connected to the core problem is the main research question formulated as follows: “How can alignment of the production process with the production planning improve the decision-making (of Gietart Kaltenbach)”. To work towards an answer for this research question, first a new structure needs to be investigated to align the planning methodology – structure of the production planning – with the execution on the production floor – the production process. Furthermore, the data from ERP-system BaaN needs to be usable within MS Excel. BaaN stores the POs – with connected working hours and routing (sequence of tasks) - a project consist of, but this POs cannot be used within BaaN since there is no decisive planning function within the ERP system. Lastly, with the new structure and input from BaaN, future decision-making based on the tactical planning (TP) and operational planning (OP) needs to be possible. Methods For the connection of the planning methodology with the execution on the production floor qualitative research is needed. A new structure of projects integrated within the production planning – both TP and OP – must result from literature studies and interviews within the company. For the connection of the output of POs from BaaN to MS Excel, macro programming within VBA (Visual Basics for Applications) will be used. Due to high flexibility and interdependencies between projects, the data conversion from BaaN to MS Excel must be as user-friendly as possible with repetitive use. Lastly, for the decision-making objectives – descriptions of insights that will be visualized with graphs within MS Excel - on the tactical and operational level must result from literature studies and interviews within the company. By applying macro programming on the data used in the TP and OP, the objectives on the respective level will be visualized via charts/graphs within MS Excel. Based on the graphs, the team leaders responsible for the production planning can e.g. decide to change lead times of included projects or POs in the TP and/or OP. Results The future planning methodology and execution on the production floor are aligned with a repetitive nature for future use within the company. The future planning methodology and execution both consist of a 4-level structure: project (1) – main components of a machine (2) – POs (3) - departments (4). For projects within the TP, the project and main components are planned, whereas for the OP the POs and connected departments to the PO are the levels planned. The POs (level 3 of the planning methodology) stored in BaaN are usable within the OP via iv macro programming with VBA. By cleaning the data and removing repeatedly occurring headers, the POs can be used for the production planning on the operational level. The future workload – distribution of working hours - originating from the TP and OP with their new structure is visualized in graphs in MS Excel – by applying macro programming to extract the data from multiple projects in a distribution of working hours - and used for decision-making. On the tactical level the capacity (e.g., available working hours and machine capacity) is estimated, and the planned working hours plotted on a time horizon. Objectives are to see whether new orders can be accepted, and whether the company does not have peaks and valleys of workload in the future. Next to this, on the operational level, on a 1–2-week workload resulting from the POs and connected departments from BaaN and can be assessed, the working hours are extracted from the POs of active projects via macro programming and visualized in a graph within MS Excel. Planned working hours connected to departments are plotted against available working hours to measure whether the planned POs can be executed. The decision-making is based on the question whether the planned working hours connected to departments can be executed in the planned interval. Also, KPIs originating from interviews within the company to track the progression and status of projects – also when the researcher leaves - are included in the production planning. These KPIs are introduced to track the working hours from the pre-calculation in the ERP system with real working hours. Differences can be detected and possible changes in the source data from the ERP system implemented. This will be a continuous improvement that the company will be able to do even after the researcher leaves.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Gietart Kaltenbach, Hengelo
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management BSc (56994)
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