Definitions and Metrics Explanations:…and i put the other titles from the instructions in word documents .Analytical approaches to modeling factory flows can be challenging to imagine and envision in the context of real-world
production systems. Simulation allows us to provide a virtual representation of a real-world production system, which
can be helpful for visualization, experimentation, and incorporating system behaviors (e.g., variability, human decision
making and behavior) that are difficult to capture with analytical approaches. In this project, you will watch two video
tutorials in which Little’s law is demonstrated using the video game Factorio, and then you will answer the questions
below. This project will be worth 6% of your overall course grade.
In Canvas, under the “Factory Flows” module, you will see four Pages.
First: Read the material presented on the “Definitions and Metrics Explanations” page. Much of this material will be a
review of material that we have already covered in class. You may then try the exercise on the “Definitions and Metrics
Practice” page if you wish, but it is not required.
Then: Read through the information provided on the “Repair Pack Production Simulation Example” page, and watch the
short video.
Finally: Please answer the following questions. There are no “correct” answers to any of these questions. Your
responses will be evaluated based on their clarity, thoughtfulness, and ability to demonstrate an understanding of the
concepts being presented in the videos.
1. How much did the videos help to improve your understanding of factory flows in general, and Little’s law
specifically? In particular:
a. Which aspects of the videos were most helpful in improving your understanding? Please explain in
b. Which aspects of the videos were least helpful? Why? What could be done to improve these aspects?
2. In class, we used an Arena simulation model to represent the flow of materials on a simple assembly line and
then capture relevant performance metrics. Which was more helpful to your understanding of factory flow
concepts: the simulation model, or the video game? Why?
3. What do you think about the potential for using video games as a way of exploring Industrial Engineering
concepts (thinking not just about this PIC course, but all of the IE courses you have taken)?
4. On a scale of 1 to 5, how much experience/familiarity do you have with video games (where 1 is very little and 5
is a lot)? Explain.
Definitions and Metrics
[Flowchart and Metric Pre-Test is a prerequisite to this page.]
Process Flow Charts
Process flow charts are used to model the flow of materials or information through a
system. There are hundreds of symbols the most common are shown in the figure
below. The color scheme is used to help easily identify possible areas to reduce nonvalue-added activities.
Production and Inventory Control Metrics
The flowchart below (Flowchart 1) is a model of a simple production process. There
are three points of storage in the example, represented by the triangles labeled A, D,
and E. The arrows labeled B represent the movement of materials between locations
and show the direction of the process flow. Finally, there are two operations labeled C.
Flowchart 1
Definitions and Metrics

Raw Material Inventory (RMI) – Raw material refers to materials or
parts purchased outside the plant. Physical inputs at the start of a
production process are typically referred to as raw material
inventory. In Flowchart 1 above, storage point A represents RMI.
Work in Process (WIP)- Inventory between the start and end points
of a production process are referred to as work in
process. Storage point D in the flowchart above would be
WIP. Also any materials being processed in either operation
(labeled C in the Flowchart 1) or in the process of being moved
(any B movement arrow above) would also be counted as WIP.
Finished Goods Inventory (FGI) – The completed product at the end
of a production process is referred to as finished goods inventory
(Storage point E in Flowchart 1). The product might be ready to
ship to a customer or might actually be crib inventories of parts
waiting for further processing or assembly at another process
routing line. Items stored in a crib inventory might be the finished
goods of one routing and the raw materials or WIP of the next!
Bill of Materials (BOM) – The relationship between finished goods
and all of their required component parts can be visualized with a
bill of materials.
Workstation – A workstation is a collection of one or more machines
or manual stations that perform similar functions. In Flowchart 1
there are two workstations, each labeled C.
Routing – A routing is a sequence of workstations passed that a
part flow through. Routings begin and end at a stock
point. Flowchart 1 above, starting at storage point A and ending at
storage point E, represents a single routing.
Throughput (TH) – The rate calculated as the average output of a
process per unit time is referred to as the throughput. If, for
example, we counted 800 parts entering storage point E in the
flowchart above over an eight-hour workday, the throughput of the
process could be expressed as 800 parts/day, 100 parts/hour, or
1.67 parts/minute. It’s important to note that throughput should
count only non-defective parts produced.
Capacity – The upper limit on the throughput of a a process is its
Cycle Time (CT) – The average time a part takes to traverse a
routing is known as the cycle time. In Flowchart 1, the CT would
be the time it takes a piece coming out of storage A to reach
storage E. It can also be thought of as the time that a piece is
categorized as WIP. It includes the time being processed, moved,
and stored between the beginning and the end of a process
Lead Time (LT) – Lead time is the management allowed time for a
given production process. In a make-to-order process it would be
the expected completion time the customer is quoted. It typically
includes the sum of the cycle times of all routings required as well
as some buffer time.
Service Level – Service level is a measure of process
performance. It is defined as the probability that the cycle time is
less than or equal to the lead time. In other words, the probability
that you get the product to the customer within the quoted lead
Utilization – The utilization of a workstation is the percent of time it
is not idle due to lack of parts to work on. Utilization can be
calculated by dividing the arrival rate to a workstation by the
capacity of the workstation.
Bottleneck Rate (rb) – The bottleneck rate of a routing is the
production rate (parts/time) of the workstation having the highest
long-term utilization (or the lowest capacity).
Raw Process Time (T0) – The raw process time of a routing is the
sum of the long-term average processing time of each
workstation. In Flowchart 1 above, the raw processing time would
be the sum of the processing times of the two operations labeled C.
Critical WIP (W0) – The WIP level for which a routing with given
bottleneck rate and raw processing time achieves maximum TH
with minimum CT. It is calculated as: W0=rb*T0. It’s important to
note that critical WIP can only be calculated for routings with no
variability. While we know that it’s unlikely that we will ever see a
process with zero variability, we will see later why critical WIP is a
useful calculation even in the “real-world.”

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