The old acetate department located in an old four storey building follows a workflow that is heavily based on shifts/rotations because production is based on a per batch basis. A typical shift, the group leader and his crew would complete two or three batches. The night shift usually has lesser work because no deliveries were made.
In the new system, the management wants to improve productivity. The department was redesigned from batches to continuous processing. Technical changes allowed the department to reduce its workforce due to acquisition of machines. The new system expects an increase in production capacity to 25 million pound per year. There was also an increase in pay for the remaining employees. No one was dismissed, but other employees were transferred to other departments in the company. With the new system being implemented, the anticipated increase in actual production did not materialize and is still close to what the old technology was producing. Absenteeism is also causing setbacks and substantial losses resulted from several judgmental errors by operators.
After the change, the first floor had large bins to store materials,the second and third floor (converted into one single story) contained the processing tanks and the top floor had, two control panels, one lab and then the offices. The product storage was in an entire different building near the main department building where the pump operator handled his duties of operating the pumps and valves that moved finished products in storage tanks. The top level structure remained the same; but the each team changed to one handler, one pump operator and two head operators. This reduced the workforce and increased 15% pay for the remaining employees. After solid materials were sent up the screw feed, the mixing was pretty much automatic and head operators monitor the process. This new system