Credits: 3


Credit only granted for: BMGT385 or ENME426.
The basic concepts and models needed to understand and design manufacturing systems, including the history of manufacturing, performance measures, queuing systems, variability, production planning and scheduling, lean manufacturing, and pull production control.

Semesters Offered

Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Learning Objectives

This course covers the basic concepts, models, and intuition needed to design and control manufacturing systems. The course covers the history of manufacturing, production lines, manufacturing planning systems, supply chains, and lean manufacturing as well. Students will learn to identify the components of process and flow variability, how to measure these, and how to use models to predict their influence on manufacturing system performance. Students will learn the key parameters and performance measures of manufacturing systems. The course also introduces spreadsheet-based end-user modeling as an approach for gaining insight into manufacturing system behavior, and students will be able to create effective spreadsheet-based end-user models of manufacturing systems.

Students who complete this course will be able to do the following:
  • Describe the history of manufacturing in America
  • Estimate processing time variability in the presence of setups and rework
  • Estimate the parameters of a manufacturing system
  • Define and apply Little's LawA
  • Analyze the best- and worst-case performance of a manufacturing system
  • Estimate the cycle time of a manufacturing system
  • Explain how variability degrades system performance
  • Identify time, capacity, and inventory buffers
  • Analyze a CONWIP manufacturing system
  • Identify the components of manufacturing planning systems
  • Determine the required capacity of a manufacturing system
  • Apply inventory management models
  • Define the concepts of supply chain management
  • Identify variability, buffers, and waste in a manufacturing system
  • Explain the principles and techniques of lean manufacturing
  • Design and build an accurate, easy-to-use spreadsheet-based end-user model

Topics Covered

  • Factory Physics
  • Manufacturing in America
  • Factory Measurements and Dynamics
  • Variability
  • Push and Pull Production Systems
  • MRP and Production Planning
  • Capacity Management
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Inventory and Supply Chain Management


Learning Outcomes

  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues

Additional Course Information


Herrmann, Jeffrey


Factory Physics, Third Edition, by Wallace J. Hopp and Mark L. Spearman, 2008. ISBN 9781577667391.

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • Two 75 min lecture sessions per week
Last Updated By 
Jeffrey W. Herrmann, July 2012