Case study

GM reconfigures maintenance rules to increase throughput by 5%

Port Melbourne, Australia
Project goals
Increase throughput without increasing costs
Achievements with Simul8

Increased throughput by 5% to meet demand without increasing costs


Discovered removing excess system carriers actually increased capacity in the line


Redistributed maintenance to improve uptime at critical bottlenecked areas

About the project

GM Holden, a subsidiary of GM, is Australia's largest automotive company and is GM’s niche manufacturer of rear wheel drive 6 & 8 cylinder vehicles. This includes all production processes through plastics component manufacturing, stamping, sheet metal and body fabrication, paint and vehicle assembly.

Doing more for less is the new corporate mantra across the globe, as business leaders are challenged to find smarter and more efficient ways of working. Simul8 helped GM do exactly that. By developing smarter maintenance rules GM increased its throughput by 5%, meeting increased demand without increasing costs.

"We increased throughput without increasing overheads. Using Simul8 lets us stay flexible when planning resource to cope with demand fluctuations."
Joy Boath
Virtual Manufacturing Engineer, GM Holden

The result

Using Simul8, GM Holden created a virtual simulation of their assembly line. They replicated the increase in demand, with the simulation visually highlighting where bottlenecks would build up. Using the simulation, the team could quickly experiment with different ways to remove these bottlenecks, increase throughput and thoroughly assess the impact of their ideas.

Reduced maintenance costs

GM Holden found that redistributing maintenance resource to improve uptime at critical bottlenecked areas was the most effective approach. This reduced maintenance costs and saved on the expense of hiring new production workers, allowing GM to remain flexible and return to lower production rates if demand slowed down.

Decreasing capacity to increase throughput

The real bonus came in discovering that an excess of carriers in the system was actually causing a blocked effect. Removing two carriers actually increased throughput by 5%. These carriers could then be used for spares, further improving production rates.

"Vehicle manufacturing is a highly competitive industry and we need to remain flexible to cope with fluctuations in demand. Simul8 has been a highly effective tool for us in achieving that flexibility."
Joy Boath
Virtual Manufacturing Engineer, GM Holden

Learn more about Simul8 for automotive manufacturing process improvement

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