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Simulation of capacity expansion and sequencing alternatives for a sheet metal producer

We present a simulation case study carried out for a make-to-order aluminium sheet producer located in Istanbul, Turkey. We are concerned with a subsystem of the factory consisting of continuous casting, cold rolling, and annealing processes. Two simulation models are developed: (1) a combined model for studying the casting process only; (2) a discrete event model for comparing capacity expansion alternatives and order sequencing rules in the subsystem. Operational characteristics of the real system and past data are extensively analysed for modelling and validation purposes. Capacity expansion and sequencing alternatives are evaluated in an experimental design setting with the objectives of satisfying the demand, balancing the process loads, and keeping the work-in-process inventory under control.