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Cenfra has carried out an in-depth analysis of a planned expansion project using bespoke discrete event simulation technology for the Vale of Mowbray, a manufacturer of pork pies.

The Vale of Mowbray identified that it would need new equipment and a site extension to keep up with demand but was unsure how these changes would be integrated with existing production.

The company approached Cenfra to carry out an assessment of its current factory processes and to look into its proposed plans to ascertain if it was making the most out of its investment.

Cenfra created an interactive 3D computer model of the proposed factory layout, which included technical details on the existing production equipment to evaluate and quantify the benefits and implications of integrating new equipment on a ‘virtual scale’ without creating any disruption to current manufacturing operations or the need for complex spreadsheets and speculative guesswork.

From the numerous ‘what-if’ scenarios carried out, which included the level of throughput, the number of operators required and machine capabilities, Cenfra’s team was able to determine that the intended plan would only be capable of handling a year’s increase in production and advised that an alternative approach should be adopted.

With this in mind, the Vale of Mowbray presented new plans for Cenfra to evaluate and, using the same event simulation methods as well as additional analysis, which included setup, maintenance and break times, Cenfra confirmed that the revised plan would be capable of handling a substantial increase in capacity for the foreseeable future.

Cenfra’s discrete event simulation technology offered the Vale of Mowbray an alternative course of action, which resulted in a faster financial payback by preventing investment in unsuitable equipment.

Discrete event computer simulation produces virtual replicas of factory floor space and allows food and drink manufacturers to examine how the proposed integration of automation systems will work in reality.

This capability is able to guarantee that the desired impact of any proposed installation can be achieved without physically disrupting current manufacture or any other areas of production.

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