Case Study – Plant Site Traffic Congestion
A building products plant was experiencing internal traffic congestion with a resultant back up of trucks onto public roads. The company planned to double the capacity of the plant and was concerned about the effect that this would have on the traffic flow both within the site and on the public road leading to the plant.
Using a site drawing from the client, we identified the delivery and pick up points within the site for both current and future operations. Using production data, truck unloading and loading times, and projections, we defined the frequency, quantity and associated time requirements of trucks and rail cars that would be arriving and leaving each production center on the site. Through observation and engineered standards we determined the transaction time requirements for current and future operations. Our observations and data collection efforts provided the operations data needed to develop distributions to represent the variation and randomness of the various operations functions including the arrival of trucks.
From this data, we were able to build a traffic simulation of the site. With the simulation we were able to test alternative traffic patterns, scheduling alternatives, and the effect of one way routing to identify operations bottlenecks.
The simulation demonstrated that one-way traffic and proper scheduling would significantly reduce on-site congestion. The most significant impact came from increasing the flow through the gates by doubling the number of scales. The client used the simulation results to demonstrate to municipal officials that the proposed operations changes and scheduling would eliminate traffic congestion caused by truck volume now and in the future.