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Process Optimization Increasing Output
BVB Substrates in De Lier, the Netherlands is part of Kekkilä-BVB, one of Europe’s leading companies in professional growing and the largest producer of horticultural peat. They provide products and services for the professional growers and home gardeners, landscapers, horticultural raw material customers and bedding peat customers worldwide. Weel known brands in the Nordics are Kekkilä Garden and Hasselfors Garden and in Central Europe, Jardino and Florentus.
Together with Groenewout, BVB Substrates realized a new semi-automated warehouse. An unforeseen peak in sales boosted the output volume over the designed peak capacity with a year after start up. BVB wanted to investigate what the actual max output of the warehouse is under what pre-conditions.
Groenewout together with their simulation partner Talumis built a simulation model allowing to analyse the past peak season and advice on improvements. First the built model was validated with figures of the past peak season, to make sure the quality of the model allowed for advice on process changes. In a second step several scenarios were defined and applied on the peak season with the model, to allow for comparison against the actual output in volume and loading times of the trucks. The conclusions and process improvements were also translated into management rules that were together with the WMS supplier embedded in the WMS and applied in the following process.
- Rules of thumb that were used in the first peak season were either back-up by the model or based on the model advised not to apply anymore.
- Change over moments in volume, were determined when a one-step move must be changed to a two-step move including a buffer.
- Managing rules were defined and embedded in the WMS and proven during the next season.
- The advices that were based on the model allowed for a controlled increase of the peak capacity with an additional 50%.