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Simulation modeling of shop floor activities for smes in virtual enterprises

Bahtiyar, Mustafa
The globalization of the markets and the worldwide competition forces the SMEs to implement new technologies and organize themselves using new concepts in order to maintain their competitivity. This type of temporary alliance is called as Virtual Enterprise (VE). SMEs seem to be appropriate units for building this type of temporary alliances when their properties (such as flexibility, adaptability and agility) are taken into account. This study is concerned with the simulation modeling of shop floor activities for SMEs in VEs. Analyzing the SMEs with their current and new work load over the existing one by using simulation tool may help the VE management unit to see the most appropriate SMEs for the projects. Because of mentioned advantages, this thesis will test whether the simulation tool will or will not be used in the selection of the VE partner. The simulation methodology for modeling shop floor activities of SMEs was developed by using ARENA simulation tool in this thesis. A hydraulic cylinder company was selected for pilot application. Manufacturing of twelve basic hydraulic cylinders was studied in the developed model. Four different queue rules were applied to the developed model to optimize the system efficiency. By analyzing the output statistical results of ARENA which were obtained with the usage of the input variables of SME (such as resource capacities, process times, setup and remove times of parts, variables wrt to workers, etc.) best manufacturing policy for pilot SME was able to be found. To see the response of the system under different circumstances, grinding and hardening operations for a drive shaft manufacturing were assigned to the company. This new job was applied on two models (Base Model and Optimized System Model) and the statistical results of each were examined.