T H E A M O S T U C K S C H O O L
D A R T M O U T H C O L L E G E
B’s Wax Candle Company*
(The Master Scheduling Game)
You are the president of B’s Wax Candle Company, a small firm that produces candles for sale to
distributors, designers and a regional restaurant chain. Since your company is small, you personally
make out the firm’s master schedule each month and, from it, derive a detailed production schedule.
Candles made from beeswax are an upscale, specialty product; they have desired
advantages over ordinary paraffin candles. The beeswax burns at a temperature hot enough that the
wax evaporates, making these candles dripless. They also do not give off smoke while burning, and
solid beeswax candles, particularly, are very slow burning. Candles may be made of solid beeswax
(dipped) or of sheets of honeycomb beeswax (rolled).
B’s Wax Candle Company makes only rolled beeswax candles. Its raw materials’ supplier
delivers pre-colored sheets of honeycomb beeswax. The craft of rolling beeswax candles has long
been a cottage industry. The candle-maker lays a length of wicking along one edge of the beeswax
sheet, and begins rolling at that edge. When the entire sheet has been rolled into a cylindrical candle,
the finishing edge is pressed firmly against the candle to stick to it.
B’s Wax has automated this process. The company has one machine for rolling candles,
wryly dubbed by workers the “rapid” wick wrapper. A machine operator feeds each sheet of beeswax
into the machine, and removes the completed candle. The machine also heat seals the finishing edge
to insure that it will not pull away from the candle. After this heat sealing procedure the machine
must cool down for 3 minutes before the next sheet of beeswax may be inserted. The finished candles
are perfectly matched in size and shape, and of a more consistent quality than when handmade.