The right decision using simulation at South Pacific Laundry
Laundry Logics approached South Pacific Laundry and offered to conduct a business case simulation project to demonstrate the power of simulation.
Mr Tang and Mr Hayes agreed.
“We have available a reconditioned 50kg CBW that could slot in with the existing setup at Broadmeadows reasonably easily, should we do it? Should we install the 50kg CBW?”
The business case challenge for Laundry Logics is straight forward:
- What would be the overall yield of the potential capacity increase from the whole washroom and Dryer compounds with the additional 50kg CBW installed?
- What are the alternatives?
- What configuration changes could be made to achieve a greater yield and to eliminate bottlenecks?
We built a Laundry Logics simulation model of the SPL Broadmeadows washroom and dryer compound. We established a baseline aligned with the performance of the current setup with the current mix and volume. We went about simulating different scenarios to identify the constraints and bottlenecks impacting the efficient running of the washroom. We made numerous changes in the model to reflect alternatives and continued to run simulations that provided data and outcomes.
More knowledge leads to better decisions:
- With a clearer picture of where the modelled system needed changing, we reconfigured the setup to provide maximum efficiencies and then re-ran the Laundry Simulator, again and again. We then had good data with which to provide SPL an answer to their questions.
Installing the 50kg CBW and making no changes to the shuttle conveyor configuration provides an estimated 3% overall system increase in output from a 12% increase in washroom capacity.
- Installing the 50kg CBW and reconfiguring the shuttle conveyors provides an estimated 14% overall system increase in output from a 12% increase in washroom capacity.
- Installing a 72kg CBW and reconfigure the shuttle conveyors is a whole new world. This will provide an estimated 20% overall system increase in output from a 16% increase in washroom capacity. Additionally, installing a 72kg CBW allows far greater flexibility and redundancy and ensures greater efficiencies from the dryer compound than with the 50Kg CBW.
Recommendations resulting extensive modelling:
- Don’t install the 50kg CBW. Take it somewhere else.
- Make immediate changes to the shuttle conveyor configuration to get SC3 doing more of the work and to accept TW4 when installed.
- Install a 72kg CBW as TW4 when volume increase requires this.
SPL have decided to not install the available 50kg CBW and have ordered a 72kg 16 compartment CBW. The shuttle conveyors will be reconfigured and reprogrammed to ensure a more appropriate allocation of work between the three existing shuttle conveyors.
Ray Hayes, SPL Group General Manager comments on the project:
“The modelling of the wash room production carried out by Paul Newbery and Laundry Logics challenged our thinking and assumptions regarding the benefits of installing a sixth CBW”.
- Do we need a sixth CBW?
- What size do we need if we go ahead 50kg, 75kg or 100kg?
- Will the current shuttles keep up?
- Will the dryers hold back production?
- Can the rail feed them quick enough?
- Can sorting decks keep up with the wash room?”
“On and on the questions came, however with real time modelling any question we asked was answered conclusively with facts. No more gut feelings, just facts. This made the business case for installing a 75kg x 16 compartment CBW very easy and fully justifiable”.
“One additional benefit is that the accurate modelling allows SPL to put KPI’s on the produ
ctivity outcomes of the new system to the supplier based on actual workflow so the investment can be fully justified and paybacks guaranteed.”
“SPL relocated its business in 2016; at the time of relocation the business was processing over 80,000 kilos per day. One main issue faced was that our theoretical assumptions and reality were miles apart in terms of the layout, machine selection and productivity outcomes. Accurate modelling similar to the one just completed would have save us the pain of redesign and modification of the current system”.