Process flow modelling and optimization of a foundry layout in Zimbabwe using simulation

Wilson R. Nyemba, Ruvimbo Mhlanga, Simon Chinguwa, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Foundry industry technologies have evolved over the years largely due to rapid changes in technology resulting in complexities that require careful planning and organization. Materials in the foundry industry pass through various stages and a number of factors, ranging from preparation of charges, materials handling and routing, furnace and production scheduling influence the process flows through these interconnected stages. Such a complex network of activities pose some challenges to companies that traditionally employ manual means of production planning. Research was carried out at one of Zimbabwe's largest foundry companies, prompted by the company's failure to produce affordable grinding media on time and in turn forcing their main customers to prefer cheaper imports. The work study revealed that the company's key challenges were in materials handling and transportation distances through the various workstations. This research focused on modelling the process flows using simulation with the aim of optimizing and reorganizing the foundry layout to reduce production costs, improve productivity and enhance efficiency. The resulting model of the optimal layout and process flows has been adopted and the company is gradually regaining its competitiveness and market share.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-303
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEuropean International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.IEOM 2017 -
Duration: 24 Jul 201725 Jul 2017


  • Foundry
  • Layout
  • Modelling
  • Optimization
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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