IET, Inc.
3539 Glendale Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43614

Case Study 5-10817

This simulation is just-in-time.

IET delivered a simulation model as a tool for evaluating the scheduling mix of low volume products through a JIT cell on a daily basis.

The Customer

Kraftmaid (Masco Retail Cabinet Group) is one of the largest built-to-order cabinet manufacturers in the United States. Kraftmaid has more than 40 years experience building quality, customized cabinetry with over 100 door styles and 45 finish options.

"IET was excellent to work with and their knowledge and assistance was unparalleled."

- Tom Anderson, Director of Manufacturing Services, Masco Retail Cabinet Group

The Challenge

Kraftmaid wants to reduce the lead time for low volume, non-stock cabinet doors by creating a Just-in-Time door cell within one of their manufacturing facilities. Much analysis, process flow, layout design and spreadsheet calculations has been done to prepare for the project. The goals for this new JIT cell are

  • Produce 3,000 doors per day
  • Production lead time of 4 hours per door
  • The ability to evaluate product mix on a daily basis

Due to the semi-custom, built-to-order nature of the product, processing times for each product can vary greatly as well as require a variety of routings. The client requires a tool to enable them to load a daily door schedule and simulate the day’s production so that they could make adjustments to the schedule prior to actual production.

The Solution

IET worked with the Kraftmaid team to develop a simulation model to fit their specific needs. Regular working sessions were held with the project team at the client facility to design the conceptual and computer model, identify the components and variables required in the simulation, define the inputs and outputs of the simulation model and review progress. The component list, process flow and logic flow were all agreed upon and documented.

For ease of use by the client, an Excel input/output interface was developed for use with the run-time version of the simulation software. This allows the end user to make changes in Excel sheets to affect the simulation model run without making any changes to the model itself. The user selects the external schedule file they wish to evaluate. Output reports are written to an Excel file for ease of printing, analysis and distribution. Cycle times, changeover times and triggers, breakdowns, scrap, labor and batch sizes are all variables that can be changed by the client within the Excel spreadsheet interface.

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