Year of Publication

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Chen Hua Chung

Abstract

In an ideal Just-in-Time (JIT) production environment, parts should be delivered to the workstationsat the exact time they are needed and in the exact quantity required. In reality, formost components/subassemblies this is neither practical nor economical. In this study, thematerial flow of the crossdocking operation at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant inGeorgetown, KY (TMMK) is simulated and analyzed.At the Georgetown plant between 80 and 120 trucks are unloaded every day, with approximately1300 different parts being handled in the crossdocking area. The crossdocking areaconsists of 12 lanes, each lane corresponding to one section of the assembly line. Whereassome pallets contain parts designated for only one lane, other parts are delivered in such smallquantities that they arrive as mixed pallets. These pallets have to be sorted/crossdocked intothe proper lanes before they can be delivered to the workstations at the assembly line. Thisprocedure is both time consuming and costly.In this study, the present layout of the crossdocking area at Toyota and a layout proposed byToyota are compared via simulation with three newly designed layouts. The simulation modelswill test the influence of two different volumes of incoming quantities, the actual volumeas it is now and one of 50% reduced volume. The models will also examine the effects ofcrossdocking on the performance of the system, simulating three different percentage levelsof pallets that have to be crossdocked.The objectives of the initial study are twofold. First, simulations of the current system,based on data provided by Toyota, will give insight into the dynamic behavior and the materialflow of the existing arrangement. These simulations will simultaneously serve to validateour modeling techniques. The second objective is to reduce the travel distances in the crossdockingarea; this will reduce the workload of the team members and decrease the lead timefrom unloading of the truck to delivery to the assembly line. In the second phase of theproject, the design will be further optimized. Starting with the best layouts from the simulationresults, the lanes will be rearranged using a genetic algorithm to allow the lanes withthe most crossdocking traffic to be closest together.The different crossdocking quantities and percentages of crossdocking pallets in the simulationsallow a generalization of the study and the development of guidelines for layouts ofother types of crossdocking operations. The simulation and optimization can be used as abasis for further studies of material flow in JIT and/or crossdocking environments.

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