American Automobiles Limited: Production Planning
In 2015, the managers for a major car manufacturer in the United States, American Automobiles Limited, were faced with a pressing problem in their press shop. The press shop made body panels for the company's 10 different car models using a stamping process. In all, 137 different body panel parts were produced by six press machines. Each press had a distinct stroke rate that decided the time per stamping operation. Time was lost in changing dies, and there were limits on the lot sizes in which the panels could be stamped. Also, some panels could be stamped only on certain presses. The press shop's managers were seeking to allocate the parts to panels in such a way that total costs could be minimized. How could they accomplish this? Ajith J. Kumar, Soumitra Chakraborty and Ankit Dhaka are affiliated with XLRI-Xavier School of Management.