Development of techniques to predict production line efficiency

  • K. Yeates

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This industrial based research project was undertaken for British Leyland and arose as a result of poor system efficiency on the Maxi and Marina vehicle body build lines. The major factors in the deterioration of system efficiency were identified as:
a) The introduction of a 'Gateline' system of vehicle body build.
b) The degeneration of a newly introduced measured daywork payment scheme.

By relating the conclusions of past work on payment systems to the situation at Cowley, it was concluded that a combination of poor industrial relations and a lack of managerial control had caused the measured daywork scheme to degenerate into a straightforward payment for time at work. This ellminated the
monetary incentive to achieve schedule with the consequence that both inefficiency and operating costs increased.
To analyse further the cause of inefficiency, a study of Marina gateline stoppage logs was carried out. This revealed that poor system efficiency on the gateline was caused more by the nature of its design than poor reliability on individual items of' plant. The consideration given to system efficiency at the design stage
was found to be negligible, the main obstacles being:
a) A lack of understanding pertaining to the influence of certain design factors on the efficiency of a production line.
b) The absence of data and techniques to predict system efficiency at the design
To remedy this situation, a computer simulation study of' the design factors was carried out from which relationships with system efficiency were established and empirical efficiency equations developed. Sets of tables were compiled from the
equations and efficiency data relevant to vehicle body building established from the gateline stoppage logs.
Computer simulation, the equations and the tables,when used in conjunction. with good efficiency data, are shown to be accurate methods of predicting production line system.efficiency.
Date of AwardMay 1975
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorG. Beaumont (Supervisor)


  • production line efficiency
  • Britsih Leyland
  • gateline
  • vehicle
  • body build

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