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Dr. Debadyuti Das

Bottleneck, Process capacity and Flow
rate (throughput)
• Process capacity = Minimum (Capacity of resource1……..
………Capacity of resource n)
• Flow rate = Minimum (Available input, Demand, Process
• If demand is lower than supply, the process would produce
at the rate of demand independent of process capacity. This
is a case of demand-constrained throughput.
• If demand exceeds supply, the process is supply-
Supply-constrained and demand-
constrained process
Process Utilization & Capacity Utilization
• Process utilization = Flow rate/Process capacity
(utilization at the level of the entire process)
• Utilization of resource = Flow rate/Capacity of resource
(utilization at the level of the individual resource)
Workload and Implied Utilization
• Utilization carries information about excess capacity, in
which case utilization is strictly less than 100 percent.
• We cannot infer from utilization by how much demand
exceeds the capacity of the process.
• Implied utilization =
Capacity requested by a demand/Available capacity
• Implied utilization can exceed 100 percent.
• It is possible to have several resources with an implied
utilization above 100 percent.
• However, there is only one bottleneck in the process. This
is the resource where the implied utilization is the highest.
Multiple types of flow units
Two most common complications are:
• The flow of the unit moving through the process breaks up
into multiple flows. For example, following an inspection
step, good units continue to the next processing step
while the bad units require rework.
• There are multiple types of flow units, for example,
different customer types. For example, life-threatening
cases follow a different flow than less-complicated cases.

Multiple types of flow units
Multiple types of flow units
• Consider three types of customers which describes the
process of handling the applicants’ resumes.
i. For internship positions
ii. For staff positions
iii. For consulting/lawyer positions
• This product mix complicates the process analysis.
• It is important to understand that the capacity of the
process depends on the product mix.
• The process step ‘contact persons who have worked with
the candidate’ might have a long activity time, resulting in
a low capacity for this activity.
• Thus the product mix can determine which resource is the
Multiple types of flow units
• To find the bottleneck and to determine capacity in a
multi-product situation, we need to compare the available
capacity with the requested capacity.
• Assume demand is 180 application a day of which there
are 30 for consulting positons, 110 for staff, and 40 for
internship positions.
• Assume working day is 10 hours, demand is 3 consulting
applications per hour, 11 staff applications per hour and 4
internship applications per hour.
Finding the bottleneck in multiproduct
‘One minute of work’ as the flow unit to
find bottleneck in multiproduct case

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