Tom Jenkins's Statistical Simulation Exercise

7 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2009

See all articles by Elliott N. Weiss

Elliott N. Weiss

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


In this case, the student is placed in the role of Tom Jenkins, a manufacturing manager who must determine the proper settings for a food-filling machine. Both a target fill rate and the production speed can be set. The purpose of the case is to teach the dual concepts of capability and natural variability and can be used as a lead-in to the concept of statistical process control. A multi-media web based application is used for the machine simulation.




Tom Jenkins, manager of Quality Services at the Amore Frozen Foods plant, decided to set the fill target for Amore's 8-ounce frozen macaroni-and-cheese pie at 8.22 ounces. He knew that the previous setting of 8.44 ounces was wasting product and providing excessive protection against under filling (providing less than 8 ounces of product).

Jenkins had recently purchased three new filling machines for the packing lines for Amore's 8-ounce beef-noodle casserole. Each machine had a standard output of 600 packages an hour, and he could adjust the fill target as well as the production rate for each machine.

Jenkins had set aside a weekend to experiment with the three machines to determine the best combinations of fill target and production rate for each machine, taking into account the likelihood of under filling the casseroles, the amount of wasted (above 8 ounces) beef-noodle product, and the output of each machine.

Instructions for Tom Jenkins's Statistical Simulation Exercise

A simulation of Jenkins's situation is available at:

. . .

Keywords: communication process, communication strategy

Suggested Citation

Weiss, Elliott N., Tom Jenkins's Statistical Simulation Exercise. Darden Case No. UVA-OM-0897, Available at SSRN: or

Elliott N. Weiss (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States


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