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Introduction and Problem Definition Custom Molds, Inc. was founded by a father and son team in 1987 to supply high quality, custom-designed molds for manufacturers of digital connectors, but afterwards expanded into the manufacturing of plastic components to the industry. In the past few years, the changing environment of the electronic equipment industry had a deep impact on the manner Custom Molds conducts its business enterprise and manufacturing processes. The changing sales mix, coupled with quality and delivery problems, prompted the company to revise its business approaches to address to following problems: 1) Changing trends in the electronics production sector that triggered changes in customers' order requires two) Unpredictable bottlenecks in the manufacturing environment 3) Quality issues resulting in faulty components 4) Delivery times promised to customers were not met Evaluation 1) Process Inefficiencies a number of the problems presented previously caused inefficiencies in the two distinct processes happening in the identical production facility in Custom Molds, specifically the Molds Fabrication process and the Parts Production process (Exhibit 1a and b). The 2 processes serve different customer needs. Home production, a power oriented and craftsman-driven procedure, requires quality and flexibility. Parts manufacturing, on the other hand, involves a more standardized procedure that competes on shipping and very low price. The margin for parts is also much smaller. In the mold fabrication procedure, the time required to get the ordered stuff for each fabrication is usually 3-4 weeks. Just after the materials have been obtained does the plant master scheduler review the workload of the delegated master machinist and schedule the mold for manufacture. The idle time...