Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management

First Advisor

Dana Hammond

Second Advisor

Jim Burns


The thesis project, which also served as the student’s senior design project, was housed at Kalamazoo Candle Company, and was completed in collaboration with two other industrial engineering senior students. This project aimed to increase Kalamazoo Candle Company’s daily throughput for the current facility and design a future facility layout based on current line design. The new designs tackled the cooling capacity bottleneck and improving throughput to match future demand for the current facility and the future one. The team was provided with throughput goals which the new lines would need to meet in order to match anticipated future demand. The team conducted time studies on the current line to understand the process and current throughput. From this analysis, the team determined the cooling capacity to be a bottleneck. The team created and implemented a designed experiment on the cooling rate to understand how to improve the process. The team then utilized modeling to understand the throughput of the current line and to improve the future design. The team initially ventured down the simulation modelling path, but ultimately realized a simpler mathematical model would be more beneficial for all involved parties. Utilizing facilities design tools, the team designed the new facility, with the goal of improving line throughput. These tools included space analysis for anticipated number of employees, which was found utilizing line balancing calculations.

The team was ultimately able to provide both short term solutions for the current facility and long-term solutions for the future facility. Short term solutions included changing the number of workers at certain stations, adding accumulations tables with recommended dimensions, and changing the line lengths of different products based on the cooling rate investigation and desired throughput. Long term solutions included a proposed future facility design, implementing longer production lines with custom proposed dimensions, which would lessen the bottleneck created by the cooling station. Additionally, the team performed line balancing calculations to determine the number of workers and machines necessary, as well as made recommendations on new storage equipment to maintain order with the increased throughput.


Co-authored with:

Jessie Foster

David Simon

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted