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Optimizing Sandwich-Making

Cole Noss, Staff Writer

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Sandwich making speed you say? You may be asking yourself, “what on God’s green earth could this sleep-deprived, class-failing sophomore be talking about?” Well, to put it simply, it is the speed at which our OP boys make meals for bridges runs. Since I’ve only been to one run so far. That’s the one I’m going to use for my calculations. So let’s get started, shall we?

First up is a total number of sandwiches and helpers. Since I don’t have exact numbers, I’m going to make the assumption we had 30 people making about 85 meals. All in all, the process took is about 15 minutes. While that should be easy math of about 1.4 meals every second. But here we go deeper than that. Now we are going to find the most productive ways to make sandwiches.

So you can hold about 20 sandwiches per line on the cafeteria tables. 2 lines per side means you can get about 40 sandwiches in one set. But one set includes adding ham and cheese before wrapping and bagging these sandwiches. So, with this, you can conclude you need about 2 sets of sandwiches to make 85. It’s about 2 tables worth to finish your sandwiches with maximum proficiency.

But while 2 tables are the size necessary for the optimal sandwich making speed, the number of people is what determines our sandwich-making-time. To do this, I will be making an equation that takes into account ingredients, time, and order to find the perfect amount of people required to make these sandwiches the fastest.

First, we will start off with the order. First, the bread must be set, then the ham or cheese, then you can turn the bun over. It is important to note that it takes about 1.5 seconds to lay 2 slices of bread. Thus far we have 1.5 seconds.

Next up, let’s talk about our ham or cheese.  Because we have to wait 1.5 seconds for the first slices of bread to be laid down, we can add 1.5 seconds more into the equation. From there we can assume about 1.5 seconds per item and you can put cheese on the bottom bun and ham on the top meaning their time is the same. Substituting that our equation becomes 1.5s+(1.5s+1.5s).

After completing the sandwich, the last person needs to wrap them. Going last, he has to wait 1.5 seconds for the first buns to be laid, and another 1.5 for the ham and cheese to be laid. Altogether we add 3 seconds to the process. Assuming it takes 3 seconds per sandwich to be made our new equation can be modified by 1.5s+(1.5s+1.5s)+(3s+3)

Using our equation if we have to make 80 sandwiches that will take us 8 minutes, 4 seconds, and 5 milliseconds. This would only take 4 people, one for each task. In order to increase our maximum speed, we can divide the tables into groups. If we only have to make one table worth of sandwiches and have 8 people working, the task could be completed in 4 minutes, 4 seconds, and 5 milliseconds. But if we had half of a table and had 16 people working, then the task could be accomplished in 2 minutes, 4 seconds, and 5 milliseconds. Even more, if there were 32 people helping and then we only had to calculate for one-quarter of a table. Following this mathematics, we could complete the task of making 80 sandwiches in 1 singular minute, 4 seconds and 5 milliseconds.

If that doesn’t convince you to come to these runs than I don’t know what will. With that please help out with the next bridge run. Every person counts!

Photo Credit: wiki.teamfortress.com

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