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5.15 - Capacity Planning

Capacity planning is the determination of the capability of a group of cells in a manufacturing product unit to manufacture products in a given time period for a given product mix.

Capacity planning issues

  • Manufacturing is potentially a complex environment
  • Manufacturing capacity planning is determined by the work content of the products and process flexibility / changeover times
  • Capacity planning requires a calculation / modelling tool
  • Capacity depends upon current queue lengths, product mix and workload

Factors in the Determination of Capacity


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Capacity Calculating or Modelling Tool















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Determined factory / line / machine capacity

  • Plant available
  • Cycle times
  • Changeover time
  • Tool adjustment constraints
  • M/C reliability / breakdown profile
  • M/C capability / quality profile
  • Other lost time factors (warm-up etc)


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  • Absenteeism profile
  • Shared resources constraints
  • Training / skill factors
  • Communication factors
  • Employee performance


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  • Quality losses
  • Distances / transport
  • Routing complexity
  • Balanced line effects
  • WIP levels - current
  • Wandering bottlenecks
  • Co-ordination difficulties
  • Batch sizes
  • Work mix current


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  • Tooling / equipment
  • Lubricant availability etc

Orders / Schedules

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Lead time

  • Accuracy
  • Changes to plan - effects
  • Volume / variety effects


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  • Shift time available
  • Overtime available

Cell Products / Components

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  • Complexity
  • Product introductions
  • Product variety
  • Engineering support required
  • Work content defined by hours per process for each cell period


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  • Control of complex environment
  • Co-ordination of cell leaders by product unit manager
  • Integration of sales planning with cell planning