Conceptual and Preliminary Design of a Shoe Manufacturing Plant
This article presents a procedure for designing footwear production plants with a Decision Support System combined with an expert system and a simulation approach. The footwear industry has many operations and is labour intensive. Optimisation of plant layout, machinery, and human resources is very important to design the footwear manufacturing system, making adequate investment in space and equipment. In the industry it is essential to reduce the process time, so the research is based on a Decision Support System combined with an expert system and simulation to improve the design of the manufacturing plan. This work contains two case studies, direct injection manufacturing and assembly and carburising methods, which are compared to analyse all the necessary resources to have the best cost–benefit ratio. In each case, a precise knowledge of the type and quantity of machinery and human resources is needed to estimate the production. This comparison has been done through simulations and using a knowledge base of an expert system. The conclusions are presented in which an improvement in production time is obtained by applying the methodology developed in the study.