The bottleneck conundrum
Breaking up logjams can be key for process plant production
By Peter L. King
If you are an industrial engineer trying to make your operation lean, you must understand bottlenecks and how to manage them. One of the primary objectives of lean is to achieve smooth continuous flow of material through the process, and bottlenecks can inhibit flow, cause unnecessary inventories and prevent throughput from matching customer demand (takt). So in order to make progress toward lean goals, bottleneck resources must be identified, managed and improved. From a financial point of view, effective management of bottlenecks can reduce inventory and operating cost, increasing throughput, revenue and profitability.
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