Capacity planning for large-scale high-tech manufacturing processes such as semiconductor manufacturing and thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) using simulation of an entire fabrication facility (fab) requires a large computational effort and thus few studies have been in real settings. To address the needs of a realistic problem, this study aimed to develop an effective approach based on a discrete-event simulation model for evaluating the throughput, cycle time and utilisation in an integrated fab to integrate manufacturing and transportation resources. In particular, we conducted an empirical study in a real TFT-LCD fab expansion facing a difficult capacity planning problem arising from the expectation that one or more bottlenecks may shift to different sites, including the transportation system between the incumbent and the expansion fabs. Different product-mix alternatives and feeding policies are investigated to determine the best fab configuration. The results have shown practical viability of the proposed simulation technique to significantly reduce the computational effort associated with the capacity planning process and derive useful alternatives for supporting capacity expansion decisions.
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