Fundamentals of Manufacturing System Design and Analysis


Upcoming dates coming soon!

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Course Overview

Participants will learn how to analyze and evaluate discrete manufacturing systems in different types of production environments.  The course will emphasize production flow, manufacturing cell design, inventory buffers, and performance metrics.  Course will also cover continuous improvement techniques and strategy deployment.

Course Goals

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast different types of discrete manufacturing systems
  2. Describe terminology related to discrete manufacturing systems
  3. Calculate and interpret common performance metrics for operations (e.g. cycle time, flow time, utilization, WIP)
  4. Apply Little’s Law to determine flow time given WIP and WIP given flow time
  5. Evaluate different ways of assigning operators to cells or production lines (e.g. dedicated, rabbit chase, bucket brigade, flexible)
  6. Explain continuous improvement philosophies and how they relate to manufacturing system fundamentals (brief introduction to Lean, Theory of Constraints, Agile Manufacturing, and Quick Response Manufacturing).
  7. Leverage strategy deployment for effective implementation

Who Should Attend?

  • Industrial/Manufacturing Engineers
  • Operations Managers
  • Anyone Involved with Continuous Improvement of Manufacturing Systems

Course Outline

Day 1

  • Broad aims of manufacturing strategy (differentiation, cost, flexibility, quality, timeliness)
  • Competitive trends in manufacturing
  • Historical perspective (scientific management, piece rate pay)
  • Manufacturing system bottlenecks and potential causes
  • Key measures for manufacturing systems
    • Cycle time, flow time, throughput, work in process
    • Trade-off between efficiency and flow time
    • Utilization
    • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  • Application of Little’s Law
  • Understanding batches vs. transfer batches to determine batch size
  • Typical relationship for product variety vs. volume and corresponding layout types
  • Options for assignment of labor, with classroom demonstration

Day 2

  • Cellular manufacturing including linked cells and U-shaped cells
  • Classroom demonstration of functional departments vs. manufacturing cells
  • Line balancing for assembly, machining, and fabrication
  • Introduction to Lean, Theory of Constraints, Agile Manufacturing, and Quick Response Manufacturing and how they relate to manufacturing system fundamentals
  • Strategy deployment to enable effective implementation of desired improvements


Jon Wellik

Jon Wellik is the Program Director for the Maintenance and Reliability Management and Technical Leadership professional development programs, offered by Interdisciplinary Professional Programs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Jon has more than 30 years of food and beverage field manufacturing experience, including plant startup operations at Frito-Lay where he was recipient of two national quality awards, the second as Plant Manager.  Other companies include Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Dairy Farmers of America, Morgan Foods, and Ab E Manufacturing, in roles as first line Supervisor, Plant Manager (3), Director in Continuous Improvement (2), VP Operations, and President/CEO. His career of varied experiences fostered multiple company transformations by way of strategic deployment, product and equipment innovation, and curriculum development and deployment.

Jon's education includes a BS in Agricultural Business from Iowa State University and an Executive MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He is a Master Trainer in Continuous Improvement and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.  Jon is a volunteer with RSVP-Madison and enjoys yoga, golf, and travel.

Charlene Yauch

Charlene A. Yauch, Ph.D., P.E., has been an engineering educator for over 20 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Oklahoma State University. Her notable honors include five teaching awards and a National Science Foundation Career grant. She has taught a wide variety of classes, including Manufacturing Systems Design & Analysis, Materials & Manufacturing Processes, Computer Numerical Control Machining, Automation Technologies, and Engineering Economy.

Her professional interests relate to the implementation of manufacturing system improvements, such as Quick Response, Lean, and Agile Manufacturing, with emphasis on the human, social, and organizational aspects. Prior to her doctoral degree, she worked in industry for six years, performing a wide variety of tasks for manufacturing firms, including simulation modeling, facility layout, and process improvement. She has also advised numerous student projects related to manufacturing system improvement.  Dr. Yauch has a multi-disciplinary educational background with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University, and graduate degrees in sociology (M.S.), manufacturing systems engineering (M.S.), and industrial engineering (Ph.D.) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Upcoming dates coming soon!

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Jon Wellik

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