Design For Warehouse Auto Retrieval System

Question

The Warehouse Company supplies spare parts for its two plants, Plant A and Plant B. Plant A and Plant B do not have any significant storage space. Hence you want carry minimum possible inventory at the plants A, B.

The warehouse W stocks two types of spare parts, part #A for the Plant A and part #B for the Plant B. The Warehouse Company uses a state of the art automated retrieval system (ARS) to retrieve parts from storage in the warehouse.

Part # A: The retrieval system takes 1 minute/unit to retrieve and send the part to the loading dock.
Part # B: The retrieval system takes 1 minute/unit to retrieve and send the part to the loading dock.

Whenever the retrieval system has to switch from part #A to part #B, there is a “dead loss”
of 30 minutes.

Whenever the retrieval system has to switch from part #B to part #A, there is a “dead loss”
of 30 minutes.

The demand for A at the Plant A is deterministic and is 15 units /hr. or 360 units/day.
The demand for B at the Plant B is deterministic and is 15 units /hr. or 360 units /day.
Assume that a Day = 24hrs. Thus, Plant A, Plant B, and the Warehouse Company are all open around the clock.

Plant A and Plant B and the Warehouse Company are all located in Houston, and hence the transportation time from the loading dock of the Warehouse Company to the plants is negligible.

The goal is to use the ARS efficiently so as to keep the plants busy as much as possible.
Design a scheme to use the ARS efficiently. Specifically,

a.    How many units of part A will be retrieved and shipped before you switch to part B?
b.    How many units of part B will be retrieved and shipped before you switch to part A?

Summary

The question belongs to Operations Management and it discusses about the dead loss occurring in the automated retrieval system while switching between Plant A and Plant B. The number of units retrieved for plant A and switching to plant B have been answered in the solution.

Total Word Count 326

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• Monik

• Cristina

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• Sandeep

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• Giuseppe

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