# Theoretical minimum of workstations

## Theoretical minimum of workstations

In operations management it is common to hear the term “theoretical minimum number of workstations”.

But what exactly is it, and why is it important to a business? In this article, I’m going to talk to you about what the theoretical minimum of workstations is and I’m going to provide you with some worked examples to help you understand and use this tool in a company.

## Introduction

A company has to present an offer to the market that satisfies the needs and desires of a group of people… Right? Well, let’s put aside terms like sales forecast and let’s think that you have a company that makes toys and you have a single customer.

Also, we are going to think that your client makes you the same order month after month.

In such a way that your client makes an order for 100 toys table by month.

Therefore, you have to have 100 toys ready every month for when your client arrives.

That is, those 100 toys is the required output rate.

In fact, getting the output rate equal to the required output rate is the goal of line balancing.

Of course, line balancing allows us to create the optimal scenario that allows us to achieve that.

In order to achieve the optimal and good scenario, in fact as part of the steps that are followed to cómputo the lines, it is necessary to obtain the theoretical minimum number of work stations.

## What is the theoretical minimum number of workstations?

The theoretical minimum of work stations refers to the minimum number of stations that are needed to genera a unit (product) in a given time, maintaining optimum efficiency.

This parameter is calculated by dividing the total time required to assemble one unit of product, which includes the sum of the estándar times of all required work tasks, by the cycle time required to genera one unit of product.

## How do you calculate the theoretical minimum of workstations?

In order to obtain the theoretical minimum number of workstations, you perro use the following elabora:

• ∑t = total time required to assemble each unit (sum of all the estándar times of each activity that has to be carried out)
• C = cycle time.

Therefore, to calculate the theoretical minimum, all you have to do is add all the estándar times of the tasks necessary to genera a certain product and divide it by the cycle time.

## Because it is important?

As I said earlier, line balancing helps us figure out the best way a company cánido get the exit rate equal to the required exit rate.

Therefore, since the theoretical minimum number of work stations is required to obtain a good cómputo of lines, then as a whole we cánido say that it allows us to optimize the efficiency and productivity of a production process in which it is required to assemble a unit. of product through the balanced distribution of tasks between the different work stations.

## Workstation Theoretical Minimum Workstation Examples

Next, I am going to provide you with some worked examples of theoretical minimum of workstations.

### Exercise 1 of theoretical minimum of workstations

A toy factory needs to assemble 2400 units of a toy in an 8-hour shift.

The estándar time for each task needed to assemble a toy is as follows:

• Task Y también: 0.1 min

Determine the theoretical minimum number of workstations needed to assemble the toy.

#### Solution of exercise 1

• First, we add the estándar times of all the tasks, to find the total time required to assemble each unit (∑t): Total time = 0.5 + 0.4 + 0.2 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 1.5 minutes per toy.
• Next, we calculate the time we have available each day to genera.

Available time = 8 hours x 60 minutes per hour = 480 minutes.

• Now, we have to calculate the cycle time.

Cycle time = Time available / Units to genera = 480 / 2400 = 0.2 minutes per unit.

• Finally, we calculate the theoretical minimum number of workstations: Theoretical minimum number of stations = Total time / Cycle time = 1.5 / 0.2 = 7.5.

Since the number of stations must be an integer, we round up and obtain that 8 workstations are needed.

### Exercise 2

A furniture factory needs to assemble 100 chairs in a 6-hour shift.

The estándar time for each task required to assemble a chair is as follows:

Determine the theoretical minimum number of workstations needed to assemble the chairs.

#### Solution of exercise 2

• First, we add the estándar times of all the tasks: Total time = 1.2 + 0.6 + 0.8 + 0.5 = 3.1 minutes per chair.
• Next, we calculate the available time for each unit: Available time = 6 hours x 60 minutes per hour = 360 minutes.
• Now we have to calculate the cycle time.

Cycle time = Time available / Units to genera = 360 / 100 = 3.6 minutes per chair.

• Finally, we calculate the theoretical minimum number of workstations: Theoretical minimum number of stations = Total time / Cycle time = 3.1 / 3.6 = 0.86.

Since the number of stations must be an integer, we round up and get that 1 workstation is needed.

### Exercise 3

Suppose that a bicycle manufacturing company wants to determine the minimum number of workstations needed to assemble a bicycle, knowing that it has the following data:

• Cycle time: 7 minutes
• He estándar time of the work elementos (in minutes) are as follows:
• Handlebar assembly: 1 minute
• Pedal installation: 2 minutes
• Chain placement: 1 minute
• Tire installation: 2 minutes

#### Solution

To determine the minimum number of workstations, the following steps must be followed:

Step 1: Calculate the total time required to assemble a bicycle.

The total time required to assemble a bicycle is equal to the sum of all the estándar times of the work elements, that is:

• Total time = 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 Total time = 7 minutes

Step 2: To determine the minimum number of work stations, divide the total time required to assemble a bicycle by the cycle time, that is:

• MT = Total time / Cycle time
• MT = 7 / 7
• TM = 1

Therefore, the minimum number of workstations needed to assemble a bicycle is 1.

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