Operations Management Case Study Sample
All of the previous refining processes have been carried out on liquors with a concentration of 60-65% (Brix). At this stage, an evaporator is used to remove some of the water prior to crystallization. The resulting syrup, which is known as evaporated liquor, is about 74% solid. The fine liquor is fed into large vacuum pans where sugar crystals are grown. Then, the syrup is heated indirectly by steam to about 80°C where it boils due to the vacuum applied to the vessel. The use of a vacuum and the resulting reduced temperature help minimize the creation of color during the process.
There is a substantial body of literature on Ethics in Business. Two central questions run through this literature: Does a corporate entity have a moral status of its own; or does morality fall only within the domain of the individual? And secondly, should the manager invoke his own moral position in making business decisions or are these moral positions the exclusive prerogative of the shareholders with whom he is engaged in legal contract?
In Savola, regardless where one falls on this spectrum, the ultimate in the execution of shareholders mandate (presumed to be the long term survival and prosperity of the organization) is done through, and only through, the adoption of a moral standard or a code of ethics.
Specifically, individuals in an organization function more efficiently, and, consequently, the organization functions in a more coordinated manner in the presence of a guiding set of ethical principles. Therefore, the true fulfillment of our "obligation" as per our contract with the shareholders is best achieved in a context of an ethical framework. Not only does a system of ethics provide a set of guiding principles, it also provides a balancing force among competing interests both within the individual and among the contending stakeholders with whom an organization deals in the normal course of business activities.There are two reasons for this assertion: First, individuals are moral creatures. The presence of an explicit system of ethics that is congruent with their own innate morality increases the comfort level in the work environment and mitigates possible frictions and conflict. The realization that one's own business decisions are in agreement with one's own moral code results in higher job satisfaction and more efficient decision-making process.Second, despite all our efforts, success in business needs a blessing from Allah. That blessing comes only if our intentions are moral and free from hypocrisy. To reiterate words from our vision, "we firmly believe that Allah's help and blessings will always be there supporting those who maintain good and sincere intentions”.
Material Handling is the field concerned with solving the pragmatic problems involving the movement, storage in a manufacturing plant or warehouse, control and protection of materials, goods and products throughout the processes of cleaning, preparation, manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal of all related materials, goods and their packaging. The focus of studies of Material Handling course work is on the methods, mechanical equipment, systems, and related controls used to achieve these functions. The material handling industry manufactures and distributes the equipment and services required to implement material handling systems, from obtaining, locally processing, and shipping raw materials to utilization of industrial feed stocks in industrial manufacturing processes. Material handling systems range from simple palletrack and shelving projects, to complex conveyor belt and Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS); from mining and drilling equipment to custom built barley malt drying rooms in breweries. It can also consist of sorting and picking, as well as automatic guided vehicles
Sugar is a broad term applied to a large number of carbohydrates present in many plants and is characterized by a more or less sweet taste. The primary sugar, glucose, is a product of photosynthesis which is a process that occurs in all green plants. In most plants, the sugars occur as a mixture that cannot be readily separated into its components. In the sap of some plants, the sugar mixtures are condensed into syrup. Two examples of sugar crops that are considered as the main source of commercial sucrose are sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris). Both of the crops are rich in pure sucrose, although beet sugar is generally much less sweet than cane sugar.
Sugarcane is a thick, tall, perennial grass that flourishes in tropical or subtropical regions. Sugar synthesized in the leaves is used as a source of energy for growth or is sent to the stalks for storage. Sugarcane requires an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23.9 degrees Celsius) and uniform rainfall of about 80 inches (203 centimeters) per year. It takes about seven months to mature in a tropical area and about 12-22 months in a subtropical area. At this time, fields of sugarcane are tested for sucrose, and the most mature fields are harvested first. In Florida, Hawaii, and Texas, standing cane is fired to burn off the dry leaves. In Louisiana, the six- to ten-feet (1.8- to 3-meter) tall cane stalks are cut down and laid on the ground before burning. As we all know, the source of sugar in sugar cane can be found in the stalks. The reed accumulates sugar to about 15 percent of its weight. Sugarcane yields about 2,600,000 tons of sugar per year.
On the other hand, sugar beet is a beetroot variety with the highest sugar content, for which it is specifically cultivated. While typically white both inside and out, some beet varieties have black or yellow skins. About 3,700,000 tons of sugar are manufactured from sugar beet.
Other sugar crops include sweet sorghum, sugar maple, honey, and corn sugar. The types of sugar used today are white sugar (fully refined sugar), composed of clear, colorless or crystal fragments; or brown sugar, which is less fully refined and contains a greater amount of treacle residue, from which it obtains its color.
In the United States, harvesting of both cane and sugar beet is done primarily by machine, although in some states it is also done by hand. The harvested cane stalks and beets are loaded mechanically into trucks or railroad cars and taken to mills for processing into raw sugar. Once there, they are cleaned, washed, milled to extract juice, filtered, and purified. The result is a clear, sugar-filled juice.
After the cane arrives at the mill yards, it is mechanically unloaded, and excessive soil and rocks are removed. The cane is cleaned by flooding the carrier with warm water (in the case of sparse rock and trash clutter) or by spreading the cane on agitating conveyors that pass through strong jets of water and combing drums (to remove larger amounts of rocks, trash, and leaves, etc.). At this point, the cane is clean and ready to be milled.
When the beets are delivered at the refinery, they are first washed and then cut into strips. Then they are placed into diffusion cells with water at about 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79.4 degrees Celsius) and sprayed with hot water counter currently to remove the sucrose.
After purification, the clear juice undergoes vacuum evaporation to remove most of the water. In this process, four vacuum-boiling cells are arranged in series so that each succeeding cell has a higher vacuum. The vapors from one body can thus boil the juice in the next one, a method called multiple-effect evaporation. Next, the syrup solution is vacuum-crystallized to form sugar crystals. The remaining liquid is removed using centrifugation and drying, and the sugar is packaged.
Mill sanitation is an important factor in quality control measures. Bacteriologists have shown that a small amount of sour bagasse can infect the whole stream of warm juice flowing over it. Modern mills have self-cleaning troughs with a slope designed in such a way that bagasse does not hold up but flows out with the juice stream. Strict measures are taken for insect and pest controls.
Since cane spoils relatively quickly, great steps have been taken to automate the methods of transportation and get the cane to the mills as quickly as possible. Maintaining the high quality of the end-product means storing brown and yellow refined sugars (which contain two percent to five percent moisture) in a cool and relatively moist atmosphere, so that they continue to retain their moisture and do not become hard.
Most granulated sugars comply with standards established by the National Food Processors Association and the pharmaceutical industry (U.S. Pharmacopeia, National Formulary).
The potential for productivity improvement in the cane sugar industry by application of new technology is very significant. The short-term benefits will be gained primarily by application of knowledge based technologies for design and process optimization rather than by introduction of new processes. These benefits are applicable throughout the industry. Membrane filtration and chromatographic separation have major potential depending very much on local circumstances. Productivity enhancement with these technologies will be critically impacted by their efficient integration into the whole factory.
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