Academic articles

Optimizing Production Allocation with Simulation in The Fashion Industry: a Multi-Company Case Study


Production Planning and Control (PP&C) has been deeply analyzed in the literature, both in general terms and focusing on specific industries, such as the fashion one. The paper aims to add a contribution in this field presenting an optimization model for the Fashion Supply Chain (FSC), developed considering an interdependent environment composed by a group of focal companies that work with both exclusive and not-exclusive suppliers. The proposed framework will combine simulation and optimization models based on parameters, decision variables, constraints and Objective Functions (OFs) collected through a literature review. The framework has been developed in a parametrical way, in order to fit the peculiarities of the different actors operating along the FSC. The empirical implementation of the framework has been conducted using data coming from fashion companies belonged to the same network, considering rush orders as stochastics events for the scenario analysis and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) assessment.

A Simulation-Based Approach for an Effective AMHS Design in a Legacy Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility


This paper addresses the design of an Automated Material Handling System (AMHS) for wafer lots in the photolithography workshop of a 200mm wafer manufacturing facility (fab) that was not initially built to have such a system. Lots transportation has to be performed using an Overhead Hoist Transport (OHT) system that was already chosen to transport reticles in the workshop. The main objective is to propose a decision support tool to characterize the Automated Material Handling System elements including lot handling, transportation as well as the storage space design. A simulation-based approach is proposed to evaluate different scenarios and propose an effective Automated Material Handling System design. Experimental results based on real instances confirm the capability of the proposed Automated Material Handling System design to support the workshop activity.

A Case Study for Simulation and Optimization Based Planning of Production and Logistics Systems


This paper introduces a practical approach for the comprehensive simulation based planning and optimization of the production and logistics of a discrete goods manufacturer. Although simulation and optimization are well-established planning aides in production and logistics, their actual application in the field is still scarce, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This is largely due to the complexity of the planning task and lack of practically applicable approaches for real-life planning scenarios. This paper provides a case study from the food industry, featuring a comprehensive planning approach based on simulation and optimization. The approach utilizes an offline-coupled multilevel simulation to smooth production and logistics planning via optimization, to optimally configure the production system using discrete-event simulation and to optimize the logistics network utilizing an agent-based simulation. The connected simulation and optimization modules can enhance the production logistics significantly, potentially providing a reference approach for similar industry applications.

Auction policy analysis: an agent-based simulation optimization model of grain market


National grain reserve is important in terms of responding to disasters and the unbalance between supply and demand in many countries. In China, the government supplements grain supply through online auctions. This study focuses on the auction policy of national grain reserve. We develop an agent-based simulation model of China’s wheat market with detail descriptions of different agents, including national grain reserve, grain trading enterprises and grain processing enterprises. Based on this model, the Optimal Computing Budget Allocation (OCBA) simulation optimization method is adopted to analyze the characteristics of optimal decision variables under different scenarios, with an objective to minimize the fluctuation of wheat price. We obtain some insights about operations of national grain reserve. As the first agent-based simulation model about national grain reserve and grain market, this model can be widely used in agricultural economics, and can provide policy supports to the government.

Hybrid modeling for vineyard harvesting operations


Hiring workers under seasonal recruiting contracts causes significant variation of workers skills in the vineyards. This leads to inconsistent workers performance, reduction in harvesting efficiency, and increasing in grape losses rates. The objective of this research is to investigate how the variation in workers experience could impact vineyard harvesting productivity and operational cost. The complexity of the problem means that it is difficult to analyze the system parameters and their relationships using individual analytical model. Hence, a hybrid model integrating discrete event simulation (DES) and agent based modeling (ABM) is developed and applied on a vineyard to achieve research objective. DES models harvesting operation and simulates process performance, while ABM addresses the seasonal workers heterogeneous characteristics, particularly experience variations and disparity of working days in the vineyard. The model is used to evaluate two seasonal recruiting policies against vineyard productivity, grape losses quantities, and total operational cost.

Coordination of production and ordering policies undercapacity disruption and product write-off risk: ananalytical study with real-data based simulations of a fastmoving consumer goods company


Performance impacts of ordering and production control policies in the presence of capacity disruptions are studied on the real-life example of a retail supply chain with product perishability considerations. Constraints on product perishability typically result in reductions in safety stock and increases in transportation frequency. Consideration of the production capacity disruption risks may lead to safety stock increases. This trade-off is approached with the help of a simulation model that is used to compare supply chain performance impacts with regard to coordinated and non-coordinated ordering and production control policies.

The Impact of Human Decision Makers’ Individualities on The Wholesale Price Contract’s Efficiency: Simulating The Newsvendor Problem


Suppliers and retailers in the newsvendor setting need to submit their pricing and inventory decisions respectively, well before actual customer demand is realized. In the literature they have both been typically considered as perfectly rational optimizers, exclusively interested in their own respective benefits. Under the above set of conditions the wholesale price-only contract has long been analytically proven as inefficient.

Simulating The Effect on The Energy Efficiency of Smart Grid Technologies


The awareness of the greenhousegas effect and rising energy prices lead to initiatives to improve energy efficiency. These initiatives range from micro-generation, energy storage and efficient appliances to controllers with optimization objectives. Although these technologies are promising, their introduction may rise further questions. The implementation of such initiatives may have a severe impact on the electricity infrastructure. If several of these initiatives are introduced in a combined way, it is difficult to analyse their overall impact.

Using AnyLogic and agent-based approach to model consumer market


In the highly dynamic, competitive and complex market environments (such as telecom, insurance, leasing, health, etc) the consumer’s choice essentially depends on a number of individual characteristics, inherent dynamics of the consumer, network of contacts and interactions, and external influences that may be best captured within the Agent Based modeling paradigm. The Agent Based modeling is especially advantageous in the consumer market domain as it allows to leverage the full amount of individual-centric data from the CRM (Customer Relationships Management) systems highly available these days. Although there are no universal straightforward instructions for building Agent Based models, there are certain common steps and patterns. The goal of this paper is to introduce the patterns in consumer market modeling most frequently met in our consulting practice. The modeling language of AnyLogic is used throughout the paper

Understanding retail productivity by simulating management practices


The retail sector has been identified as one of the biggest contributors to the productivity gap that persists between the UK, Europe and the USA. It is well documented that measures of UK retail productivity rank lower than those of countries with comparably developed economies. Intuitively, it seems likely that management practices are linked to a company’s productivity and performance. Significant research has been done to investigate the productivity gap and identify problems involved in estimating the size of the gap; for example the comparability of productivity indices, historical influences, general measurement issues, and varying sectoral contributions. Best practice guidelines have been developed and published, but there remains considerable inconsistency and uncertainty regarding how these are implemented and manifested at the level of the work place. Indeed, a recent report on UK productivity asserted that, “... the key to productivity remains what happens inside the firm and this is something of a ‘black box’”. Siebers and colleagues conducted a comprehensive literature review of this research area to assess linkages between management practices and firm level productivity. The authors concluded that management practices are multidimensional constructs that generally do not demonstrate a straightforward relationship with productivity variables. Empirical evidence affirms that management practices must be context specific to be effective, and in turn productivity indices must also reflect a particular organization’s activities on a local level to be a valid indicator of performance