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Weldon Hand Tools Case Study

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Keywords: weldon hand tools

This report discusses designing a production process to produce Weldon hand tool, the product detail, the time for assembling each element as well as the sales focus of the product are all given in the case study. The report first start with calculating the number of staff required for each volume of work per quarterly for the two years period of the sales forecast ,then looks at the required technology and facility to assemble the product, it then further discuss proposed design layout for assembling operation, lastly the report discusses the likely adjustment of the propose layout should the demands increases and finally the report ends with conclusion recommending the need to balance between demands and capacity in a well organised production that supply the market with a reliable, and fairly price tool.


In terms of determining how many staff is needed to work in assembling of smoothing plane manufacturing plant, given the sales forecast for the next two years we assume that each employerto works 35 hours per week for 48 weeks a year excluding the holidays.

For simplicity this report will only show the calculation of the 1st quarter, the 2nd and the last quarter of the 2nd year of sales forecast of the staff required and the rest is provide as shown in the table in fig 1 below.

2.1- Calculation 1st Quarter

The required number of staff for the sales volume in the next two years.We first calculate the total time available per quarterly.

The sales forecast for the first quarter is 98,000 units and given that it takes 1.60 minutes to assemble one unit, the time needed to assemble the 98,000 units will be

98,000 X 1.60= 156800 minutes.

In assuming the full time workers work 35 hours a week (7 hour a day for 5 working days) one worker working 12 weeks will be

35 hrs X 12weeks X 60 minutes=25200 mins

Therefore number of worker that is needed for manufacturing 98,000 units will be

156800/25200= 6.222

This will be equivalent to 7 people as there is no fraction of people

2.2- Calculation 2nd Quarter

The sales forecast for this quarter is 140,000 units, therefore the time requires to assemble it is

140,000 X 1.6 = 224000

From equation 1 the time available for one worker will be

35 hrs X 12weeks X 60 minutes= 25200 mins

Hence the number of staff required will be

224000/25200 = 8.888 equivalent to 9 people

Subsequently every quarter is calculated the same till the last quarter. Therefore the sales forecast for the last quarter of the 2nd year is 230,000 units and given that it takes 1.60 minutes to assemble one unit the time needed to assemble will be

230,000 units will be 230,000 X 1.60= 368,000 minutes.

Therefore the number of people required to work for the quarter will be. Since it was assume that full time workers working 35 hours a week (7 hour a day for 5 working days) one worker working for 12 weeks will be

35 hrs X 12weeks X 60 minutes=25200 mins

Therefore number of worker that is needed for manufacturing 98,000 unit

will be 368,000/25200= 14.603

This will be equivalent to 15 people as there is no fraction of people.

In conclusion we see the demand is not constant and there is inflation and deflation in demand to solve this we either employ more worker or ask the existing staff to do some extra over time when ever demand increase

Facilities and technology

Since the sales forecast shows a high demand selecting the required facilities and technology in designing the manufacturing process for Weldon hand tools is very crucial therefore the first and foremost things to consider is the size of the facility and if there is room for expansion .the operation process and the required work force

We need to have in place capital and labour, proper planning of the process, research on customer requirement, seminars and training to compete in the market as the sales forecast shows increase and decrease in demand and finally managing the inventory by having warehouse for the stocks

Assembling smoothing plane can be divided into three major area, fly pressing, bench operation andwrapping, other than fly pressing which requires pressingmachine,the general operation is reasonably simple so some of the technology and facilities required are

Press machines - for press operation

Customised kits - for efficient bench operation

Stapler, truck, and wrapping bench - for easy handling of tools and wrapping

Design layout

Design layout is significant process in operation management ,the flow of the layout very much relies on the volume and variety characteristic which shapes the overall design (Slack et al, 2010).The decision as to which layout type to adopt will be influenced by an understanding of their relative advantages and disadvantages (Slack et al, 2010).

Therefore in order to design the layout we need first to identify the type of manufacturing process that smoothing planes is. As per the case study and according to its sales focus there is indication that this is high volume output and low variety operation and so this can be class as a mass process manufacturing process and so product base layout is the appropriate design layout.Since that the new product has a similar design with little variation, the design layout can be the same as the small variation does not affect the fundamental production process.

Finally the main factors that determine the design layout in this case study is the ease in which expansion can be made to meet the increasing demand, focusing on the process to combine flexibility with a minimum lead timeare the main The layout therefore can be organised in simple and flexible manner so as to enhance the speed of production and reduce inventory while meeting the expected increase of demand

The first task is solely a fly press operation in order to minimise idle time between the work stations. The operation will be organised such as each unit recovers the goods from the previous unit

4.1- Layout stages

S0 by numbering the element available to assemble the task 1-12 so as to calculate the number of e stages required for the product layout.

This is worked out by requiring the cycle time, even though the cycle time for each quarter was shown in the above table in Fiq1, we will show the calculation of how it was arrive , but in term of calculating the stages we only need the sales of the first quarter

Since the sales forecast for the first quarter is 98,000 unit and given that it takes 1.60 minutes to assemble one unit, its assume that full time workers work 35 hours a week (7 hour a day for 5 working days)the net time available for work in 12 weeks(1st quarter) will be

35 hrs. X 12weeks X 60 minutes=25200 minutes

Therefore the required cycle time =total time available/work volume

25200/98000= 0.257 mins

No of stages required will be = total volume /cycle time

1.6/0.257 = 6.222= 7 stages

Having known the number of stages we then list the element 1-2 and draw the precedence diagram to calculate the balancing loss

Element 1: Assemble poke subassembly 0.12

Element 2: Fit poke subassembly to frog 0.10

Element 3: Rivet adjusting level to frog 0.15

Element 4: Press adjusting nut screw to frog 0.08

Element 5: Fit adjusting nut to frog 0.15

Element 6: Fit frog screw to frog 0.05

Element 7: Fit knob to base 0.15

Element 8: Fit handle to base 0.17

Element 9: Fit frog subassembly to base 0.15

Element 10: Assemble blade subassembly 0.08

Element 11: Assemble blade subassembly,

clamp and label to base and adjust 0.20

Element 12: Make up box and wrap plane,

pack and stock 0.20

Fiq3below displays the final distribution of work after breaking down the process into different stages of the long thin arrangement, the advantage is that it's an ideal way of arranging flexible and expandable operation., makes moving and handling materials between unit effective and as well as providing adequate amount of floor space .

0.15 â‘¢ 0.08

â‘  â‘¡ â‘£ ⑤ â‘¥ ⑦ ①⑨ ⑪ â‘« 

0. 12 0.10 0.08 0.15 0.05 0.15 0.17 0.15â‘© 0.20 0.20

Fig2 Element listing and precedence diagram

4.2- Calculating balancing loss

0.15 â‘¢ 0.08

â‘  â‘¡ â‘£ ⑤ â‘¥ ⑦ ①⑨ ⑪ â‘« 

0. 12 0.10 0.08 0.15 0.05 0.15 0.17 0.15â‘© 0.20 0.20

Stage1 stage2 satge3 stage4 satge5 stage6 stage7 stage8

Cycle time = 0.26









1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Idle time of every cycle =(0.26-0.22)+(0.26-0.25)+(0.26-0.20)+(0.26-0.15)+(0.26-0.17)+(0.26-0.23)+(0.26-0.20)+0.26-0.20) = 0.45

Balance loss = 0.45/8 - 0.26 = 21.6 %

Fig 3 Allocation of element to stages and balancing loss for Weldon hand tool


Meeting the demand

In meeting increasing demand the above design layout can be adjusted by rearranging the stages. The conventional arrangement of the eight stages was to arrange them in one line and each stage takes 0.257 minutes (cycle time) worth of work; however this can be rearranged in to four shorter lines each stage with 0.514 minutes worth of work will give the same output. So following this conclusion the stages could be arranged in 8 parallel stages each responsible for the whole worked content, the advantage is that it will save time for product transportation both within the site and the nearby building where facilities are located, create plenty of space within the site hence enhancing easy expansion to meet increase in demand and finally the inventory will also assist to place the product well in stock

Lastly the above layout has concentrated on the labour time effectiveness of assembling one unit per hour per person,however concentrating on speed and quickness of machines may encounter any competition of demand and capacity


In operational management capacity planning such knowing what is the size of the facilities, the geographical location and the row material for the production process is fundamental, crucial and necessary

To successful manage the Weldon hand tool manufacturing process its desirable that the layout be design in a flexible way to rearrange stages that will create more rooms for expansion so as to meet future demands and capacity. The flexibility also makes the transportation (moving and handling) of materials between unit effective

Finally at the moment the sales forecast does not predicts smooth distribution of demand to encounter this problem of inflation and deflation of the sales, marketing the product through sales promotion could improve the demand distribution to a smooth increase throughout the quarters.

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