Most factories take in raw materials and convert them into products that are purchased by their customers. This sounds simple, but in most cases the process is very complicated.
Raw materials can come from all over the world and need ordering in varying quantities in advance; the product range can be large – imagine how many colours a paint factory makes and how many sizes of tin and types of paint from undercoat, primer, gloss, eggshell, satin, silk and many others! The orders the factory receives from customers may be very varied – large quantities of a few colours and small quantities of lots of other colours.
So how does O.R. help? Factory managers can use an O.R. technique called ‘simulation modelling’. This converts data into what looks a bit like a computer game so that the managers can resolve many issues such as which products to make on what date; how many production lines will be needed and where staff would be most efficiently employed.
Using a simulation model can make a factory very much
more efficient and make sure that the orders placed by customers are supplied
Other short videos can be viewed by clicking on the links below:
The individual sections of the video are also combined to create the 'What is O.R.' movie (length 17 minutes).