OPT – Optimized Production Technology: What is it?

In an increasingly competitive market, doing a good process management can be the difference for the success of a business. Thus, everyone is looking for techniques and innovations to produce more with less.

OPT (Optimized Production Technology) is an alternative for those looking for optimization and standardization of processes in the company.


What is OPT (Optimized Production Technology)?

OPT is a production management method developed by Israeli researchers in the 1970s. Through the identification, management and resolution of the company’s bottleneck resources, OPT seeks to offer companies greater profitability and reduce waste.

For this, OPT uses 9 principles (which we will detail below) and software. However, even without purchasing OPT software, it is already possible to extract a lot of insight from the methodology.

To achieve the goal of greater profitability, OPT is committed to maximizing the flow of products sold, reducing the system’s inventory levels and decreasing operating expenses. The system also considers three financial indicators to measure its efficiency: net profit, Return on Investment (ROI) and cash flow.


Production bottlenecks

To better understand the OPT principles, it is important to define two concepts:

Bottleneck resource: is the name given when a resource interferes with the production flow, that is, when it has less availability than other stations on the production line, generating a productive bottleneck.

Non-bottleneck resource: It is when there is no variation in the production rhythm, since the availability is equal to or greater than necessary, without interfering in the production capacity.


The 9 OPT principles

Bottlenecks can occur for different reasons. OPT’s focus is precisely to identify the reason and act to resolve it quickly. For this, the methodology gives 9 principles:


1- Balance the production flow: Through the Takt time, you find the ideal production pace and minimize stock and inventory.


2- The use of a non-bottleneck resource is not determined by availability, but by some system restriction: In other words, there is no point in increasing production capacity if there are bottlenecks in the process, as this will generate stocks.

3- The “use” and “activation” of a resource are not synonymous: “Use” means to manufacture according to the production rate. “Activate” means to produce items in the maximum amount possible.


4- Gains in a bottleneck resource are good for the entire system: As bottlenecks limit capacity, optimizations over them will yield good results for the entire operation.


5- Gains on a non-bottleneck resource are useless: Improving productivity in stations without bottlenecks will only increase inventory and will not actually generate gains.


6- The transfer batch must not be the same as the processing batch: The processing batch refers to the number of parts you will process on the equipment. The processing batch is the number of pieces that will pass to the next stage


7- The processing batch must not be fixed: The batch size in stations with a bottleneck must be larger than in stations without a bottleneck.


8- Bottlenecks define the flow of the system and the stock: In this way, a delay in the resources that feed the system can be absorbed.


9- The scheduling of activities and productive capacity must be considered simultaneously: Failure to analyze sequentially helps to evaluate the result of the system.

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