Automated Production Line Optimization: Case Study

Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG is a global supplier of technology and equipment for the photovoltaics, semiconductor, and microelectronics industries.

The company needed to identify the best configuration of the automated production line and factory, to minimize costs and maximize throughput and reliability. Throughput and equipment utilization rate metrics were utilized to compare alternatives.

Centrotherm needed to avoid possible bottlenecks in the material flow and optimize in-factory logistics. Also, management required taking into account casualties and stochasticity, for instance, the probability of scrap or how the factory would operate in case of equipment breakdowns. Due to these factors, the consultants hired by Centrotherm suggested using simulation modeling that allowed them to plan manufacturing processes considering its possible behavior in case of emergencies, random events, and uncertainties.

To model the manufacturing system, the consultants used the AnyLogic libraries they developed, based on their specific simulation experience in photovoltaic and semiconductor manufacturing industries. The consultants had experience using the libraries in prior consulting engagements, which allowed them to model processes and objects unique to the industry: equipment, material flow logic, staff, and production control systems inside factories.

You can find more info in the article in the “Case Studies” section of the website. Or, check out the project presentation by model developers at the AnyLogic Conference 2012: