Supply Simulation, Process Optimization, Lean Design
 S e r v i c e s

Some Papers & Presentations:

A joint APICS ISPE presentation  Simulations for Improved Production Cycles Using a Lean Supply Chain Postponement Strategy given by Jim Curry, January 17, 2012.


Simulation-Based Planning in the September 2010 issue of Lab Manager by OpStat's Jim Curry


Successful Use of Simulation as a Tool in a Lean Six Sigma Program in the May-June 2010 issue of Pharmaceutical Engineering by OpStat's Jim Curry



A 50 minute  webinar. presenting a case study Lean Simulation: "Test-Fly" Changes to the Operation given by Jim Curry, February 12, 2010.



Simulation Methodology for Facility Design in the June 2007 issue of BioPharm International by OpStat's Jim Curry


A Lean Analysis Methodology Using Simulation

SME Technical Paper March 2007

APICS Seminar1 2004, Simulation Modeling in Lean Programs





Simulation: Operations Excellence Tool in Lean Manufacturing

Have you solved the product mix issue of low volume products in your lean manufacturing program?  Our tools and analytical approach:

  • Include variability analysis for all supply, manufacturing & logistics
  • Expand value stream mapping to dynamic simulation
  • Use both simulation and optimization modeling as six sigma tools.

Simulation is an essential lean six sigma tool to test designs before implementing changes.   Heuristic algorithms are employed to develop lean manufacturing plans and production schedules, then tested by six sigma black belts using simulation.

Our simulation models can help to reduce variability - the source of many problems.

We have helped our clients realize real benefits, beyond what is possible with traditional tools such as value-stream mapping.  Some examples:

  • Form postponement of packaging – 30% inventory reduction; with substantial service improvement to 97+%
  • Shift/work center change – manpower reduction 7 to 6 days/week
  • Add staff to assembly work center – reduced overall manpower 10%
  • Cycle Time reduction 18 to 13 weeks with plant to plant synchronization
  • Impact of late materials – starving downstream operations
  • Test schedules & kanbans
  • Variability & mix impacts on capacity investments.
Our models allow your lean analysts to test the impacts of lean improvement techniques, including:
  • Kanbans & CONWIP
  • Schedules
  • EPE (every-part-every …) rhythm cycles
  • Batch & campaign sizes vs. one piece flow
  • Setup reduction
  • Routing changes
  • Shared resources
  • Postponement


  • Variability impacts
  • Downtime impacts
  • Yield & scrap
  • Material lead times

Metrics include:

  • Takt times/rates
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE )
  • End to end cycle times

Models are adaptable to either flow shops or job shops.  Following is an example of a mixed environment with a machine within the flow used for multiple passes.




The model uses probabilistic processing for demand forecasts and actual ordering, as well as all processing within an operation, such as:

  • Processing times
  • Setup times
  • Full & Back-to-Back cleanouts
  • Quality lab & release times
  • Late materials
  • Quality / scrap yields & rates
  • Absentee rates in labor crews
  • Hold times
  • Equipment downtime.

The resulting output metrics provide confidence intervals on throughput and utilization for all equipment, people and shared resources.  An example of a laboratory operation which has characteristics of a job shop, where there are multiple passes on different equipment and requires different people skills to perform, follows:



Additional examples of metrics from the Lean Simulation Model.

Copyright 2005-2006 OpStat Group Inc. All rights reserved.  Last modified: 09/13/2013