SIMUL8 helps Shanghai GM exceed their goals
High demand in China’s automobile market has meant more plants need to increase their throughput. Therefore, with General Motors being a global organization, Shanghai GM needs to meet the demands of not only China but internationally.
Meeting international demand presented an obstacle as each geographical market differed, meaning each vehicle model had a unique design.
In order to improve throughput and meet demand, Shanghai GM needed to add new technology and distribution models for each vehicle.
Their goal, therefore, was to meet demand and improve throughput without increasing overheads.
Shanghai GM created a simulation of the complex conveyor system using SIMUL8 software to test ideas, and increase throughput. Ideas were tested in SIMUL8 to simulate the real situation and check the feasibility of various scenarios.
When Shanghai GM needed to modify an old conveyor system to meet higher demand, they used simulation to see where bottlenecks built up at certain parts of the system.
This allowed GM to experiment with different scenarios to remove the bottlenecks at the lowest possible cost. At the evaluation stage when the determination of whether an old conveyor system met a new demand, the system was diagnosed to find a root cause as to why it was unable to meet a new demand.
Shanghai GM not only reached their goal but surpassed it with:
- increased throughput with no cost increase
- removal of bottlenecks and savings on excess costs
- improved maintenance resource utilization and,
- greater understanding of processes
The creation of simulations in SIMUL8 also enabled a comprehensive comparison of the original conveyor layout to get the best results. Perhaps, best of all GM Shanghai found that SIMUL8 is not only an analysis tool, but also a way to communicate with customers and help the decision making process.