Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : WorkSim Project
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. developed a system called WorkSim that has converted a paper- based, manual process for recording and tracking work through its first operations shop to a totally automated, electronic process. WorkSim optimizes the scheduling of work through the shop based on need dates and resource availability.
When Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. first installed its new First Operations Shop, it had not developed a method for planning, scheduling, and tracking the work that was processed through the shop. When a production run was started, the shop manager filled out a detailed, paper-based, material process form. Although the form included all the necessary information on the different processes required for the order, it was time consuming and error prone. Additionally, the manager recorded such tracking information as size of the parent plate, quantity of parts to be cut from the plate, heat number of the plate, square footage of blast and painting required (manually measured), and weight of the parts. The manager then used “seat-of-the-pants” scheduling as the jobs moved through the shop. Bender needed a new system that would quickly and accurately record and store necessary data. It also needed a system that would schedule the work through the shop efficiently.
Bender worked with Knowledge Based Systems, Inc. (KBSI) to develop WorkSim, a system that would automatically record the necessary information for tracking work through the shop. WorkSim optimized the scheduling based on need dates and the schedules of labor and equipment resources.
WorkSim allows electronic uploads of necessary information from other shipyard systems. The part geometry information, including weight and square footage, is uploaded from Bender’s ship design software, ShipConstructor. The need date for each part is uploaded from Bender’s scheduling system, Primavera. Finally, the nesting information is drawn from Bender’s nesting software, SigmaNest. These different programs provide all the information required for Bender's material process form, and is automatically completed for the shop manager. WorkSim then calculates the totals for all the work processed through the shop. In addition, WorkSim ensures there are no interferences between different equipment to cause equipment stoppages.
The WorkSim system reduced paper work by 80%, freeing the shop manager to do productive work. It also eliminated much of the past data entry errors, and through its scheduling capability, increased productivity of the laser cutting operation by 20% by analyzing nest cut times and optimizing plate sequencing.
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