Standard Article

Improving Packaging Operations in the Plastics Industry

  1. Rajesh Tyagi,
  2. Srinivas Bollapragada

Published Online: 14 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms1013

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Tyagi, R. and Bollapragada, S. 2011. Improving Packaging Operations in the Plastics Industry. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. GE Global Research, Niskayuna, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2011

Abstract

A large plastics company commissioned the development and use of an improved packaging system based on a simulation study to increase the capacity of its packaging operations at one of its divisions. The four bag- and box-packaging stations that pack the material produced by 13 extrusion lines were causing a major bottleneck that was impacting the throughput of the plant and was resulting in significant costs due to increased outsourcing of packaging operations. A team that included the authors simulated the plant operations to show that the packaging capacity could be significantly increased through better scheduling and that there was no need to invest in additional equipment and manpower. The team then developed and implemented a packaging system with a novel scheduling system that has increased throughput capacity by 20%. In addition, the system has yielded significant cost savings because of productivity gains and reduced outsourcing of packaging operations.

Keywords:

  • manufacturing;
  • capacity planning;
  • discrete event simulation;
  • scheduling algorithms;
  • heuristics