What are the Top Capacity Constraints (Bottlenecks)?

For a given tool set, product mix, and start rate, one tool or operator group will constrain factory capacity (e.g. the bottleneck resource). However, even if this top capacity constraint is lifted by adding tools or operators, or making other improvements, there may be other capacity constraints lurking just behind. To see all capacity constraints at once, use Factory Explorer®'s Bottleneck Resource Chart, shown below for Factory Explorer®'s sample Aspen model (based on data from SEMATECH's set4 testbed dataset). These results were generated using capacity analysis no simulation was required.

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Bottleneck Resource Chart, Aspen model. This chart displays top capacity constraint resources (tool groups or operator groups) and the time spent by each resource on various tasks. Tool groups C1-9 and D1-9 are the top capacity constraints, but the factory has a significant amount of spare capacity (over 30%).

The Factory Explorer® Advantage

Finding capacity constraints using simulation is a difficult task, especially if the factory is overloaded. After you find and relieve each bottleneck, you have to re-run the simulation to find the next one. But with Factory Explorer®, you can use the capacity analysis engine to identify all bottlenecks. With this engine, a single run identifies all capacity constraints, even for overloaded systems. And, it's fast. Even for large factories, the capacity engine often requires only a few minutes. This speed does not come at the price of detail, however, as the capacity engine accounts for operators, rework, scrap, lot splitting, Kanbans, and a host of other complexities commonly found in advanced manufacturing. You don't have to simulate to solve every problem. With Factory Explorer®, you can use the right tool for the problem at hand. Think of it as your hi-tech toolbox.

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