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  • By T. Manikandan
  • In Blog
  • Posted 15/06/2015

T. Manikandan of Renault-Nissan shares another guest blog with us, as he explains how WITNESS continues to be a key tool in his project work

In my previous blog (April 2014), I discussed how I was introduced to WITNESS and its benefits. In this blog, I would like to share with you a recent piece of work I have conducted using WITNESS, which continues to play a key role in my projects.

(Since I adhere to the confidential policies of my company; I can’t reveal the full details of the line specifications here)

I was working on a Nissan project in North America where the production operation in the facility was manually operated and the flow conditions were not fixed. The Process Engineer of the manufacturing line wanted to introduce a new part into the existing manufacturing system. However, before implementing this change, he had several questions; Is it possible? Can I meet my production targets? How long should be my cycle times be? How can I use my bottleneck machine effectively?

All of these questions were concerns of the Process Engineer, however I was able to say to him; “Don’t worry. I will help you using WITNESS Simulation”.

To create the WITNESS model, I was given the layout and part flow sequence. The cycle times and down times were not provided, rather they are to be input by the Process Engineer, so I Initially just created a customizable data and layout template.

With the customizable layout, the part flow sequence, cycle times and down times could be edited and changed at any point by the Process Engineer. WITNESS elements were defined and developed to represent the operators undertaking a variety of tasks on the line, they can load, unload, walk and wait. As the manufacturing line is manually operated, we needed to execute different actions for different cases, this meant a logical thought process was needed when entering the data, such that the required behaviours were achieved rather than using automatically created data.

Ultimately I delivered the WITNESS model to the Process Engineer fully tested using example data, he was then able to substitute the data with his desired values, testing many scenarios and enabling him to make recommendations to his vendors based on that. Both of us were very happy with the results and outcome, thanks to the customizable data and layout template in WITNESS.

So, what is this customized template for WITNESS? – effectively it is using the power of WITNESS to provide a customized, data driven model by using WITNESS Functions, Variables and Attributes to hold data, implement flow logic and control operators. Nothing else – just standard WITNESS functionality, with no external programming!

You have a tree full of apples and a gun. Unless you know how to aim and shoot, you can’t get the apples down. Similarly, you have lot of industrial problems and you have WITNESS with various elements and options. Unless you know how to use these elements effectively, you can’t solve your problem – which is why I am happy I can use WITNESS and I am able provide answers and insight to my colleagues.

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