Brown-Forman Cooperage Case problem Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Brown-Forman Cooperage Case Problem

Question 1

There are around five process steps involved in the production of the new charred oak barrels. The current capacity of the company is to produce around 3000 barrels per day and the remaining 100 barrels required by Canadian MIST Distillery are supplied by an external supplier. A detailed analysis has been performed for the total time spent at each process step and the total number of the workstations working under each of the process steps. The main process steps currently comprises of Wood milling, raising area, barrel raising process, steaming process and the charring process. Based upon the sub steps for each of these processes and the number of the workstations required by each and assuming 2000 barrels produced per day which are supplied to the two prominent brand of Brown-Forman, the utilization rates have been calculated as follows:

Wood Milling Workstations Total Time (min)

1 Planing/sanding 60 planks per min 2 33.333
2 Cutting of planks 45 planks per min 3 44.444
3 Grinding 60 planks per min 2 33.333
4 Stave fitting 7 sec/ stave per station 10 29.167
5 Total average staves 25 staves
TOTAL 17 140.278

Raising area steps

Barrel tops and bottoms (lids)

1 Planks joined with food grade wax 20 seconds / workstation 4 33.333
2 Rounder machine step 10 seconds/lid 2 8.333
3 Robotic arm step 15 seconds/lid 2 12.500
TOTAL 8 54.167
Barrel raising process 25 staves per barrel
3 min per barrel / workstation 10 30.00
TOTAL 10 30.00
Steaming process
total barrels processed 112 barrels per 30 min 7 17.857
barrels processed at each WS 16 barrels per 30 min 7 125.000
1 Metal cable removing step 30 sec per barrel 2 25.000
2 Toasting process 10 sec per barrel 2 8.333
3 quality check 7 sec per barrel 2 5.833
4 Buffalo machine step 40 sec per barrel 3 50.000
TOTAL 23 232.0238095

Charring process

1 Charring 25 sec per batch or per four barrels 2 3.333
2 quenching 10 sec per batch or per four barrels 2 1.333
3 loading/unloading 60 sec per batch or per four barrels 2 8.000
4 Joining of lids 25 sec per barrel 2 3.333
5 Installing steel bands 45 sec per barrel 3 9.000
6 Laser guided sighting system 30 sec per barrel 2 4.000
7 Final inspection 35 sec per barrel 2 4.667
TOTAL 15 33.667

PROCESS STEPS UTILIZATION

WOOD MILLING 12.12%
RAISING AREA 14.77%
BARREL RAISING PROCESS 33.33%
STEAMING PROCESS 9.91%
CHARRING PROCESS 44.55% BOTTLENECK PROCESS

Looking at the calculations and the utilization rates, the maximum utilization or resource usage is being done at the charring process with a utilization rate of 44.55%. Therefore, this would be the bottleneck in this process. The visual flow chart for the entire process with detailed information at each step is provided in the diagram below:........................

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