Simulation-based Framework for Teaching Methods in Logisitc and Production Planning

Uncertainty in planning tasks such as processing times, set up times, customer required lead times, due dates, time to failure, time to repair and the complexity in terms of product variety, outsourcing, short lead times, low inventory levels, low costs, high utilization are major hurdles for planning logistic and production processes.

This poster introduces a business game for methods in logistics, production planning, procurement, production, distribution and sales tasks. Basic methods such as MRP, CONWIP, Kanban, reorder policies, dispatching rules, basic demand forecasting methods, MPS are implemented in the game. Due to the ge-neric environment additional methods can be implemented efficiently. Attention has also been paid to a didactic learning concept. A web based platform has been developed where presentation and videos will support the learning effort of the gamers. Online pre-test are included to examine the current skills.

Based on a generic framework presented in (Hübl et al., 2011) a simulation framework for teaching plan-ning methods in logistics and production planning for educational purpose has been designed. Master data (e.g. bill of material (BOM), routings, planning methods and their parameters) and transaction data (dis-tributions and their parameters for processing times, set up times, replacement times, customer required lead times, time to repair, time to repair) are stored in the database. This avoids throw away solutions for each of the scenarios needed. The data from the database is imported into the simulation framework and the shop floor as well as the related planning process for purchasing, production and distribution related tasks according to the supply chain planning matrix (Meyr, 2004) are parameterized.

Didactic concept

The core element of the didactic concept is a simulation-based business game in which the gamers are able to set parameters of the observed methods such as lot size and number of Kanban containers for Kanban or lot size and reorder point for a reorder policy. Hereafter, they can see how performance change by different parameters. The methods and their parameters are integrated in Java based input masks pro-grammed in the Simulation tool Anylogic 7.3 which are integrated into a web based font-end. Comple-mentarily the theoretical background of the specific key-performance indicator and the underlying method is presented by providing slides and video-tutorials on the web based front-end.

The business game supports traditional lectures on logistics, production planning, procurement, distribution and sales. The main surface of the business game is implemented as the front end of a cus-tomized Content Management Tool (CMS) for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The whole course is embedded into a fictional case study. If, for example, a undergraduate course on production planning methods of 30 teaching hours consist of MRP, Kanban, Conwip and DBR (Drum-Buffer-Rope), then the whole class have to solve at home individually a “Pre-Test” for the first method (MRP) in form of a brief multiple choice questionnaire. This test is integrated in the MOOC platform and allows instant evaluations delivered to the course lecturer. The lecturer teaches the method MRP based on the results of the pretest. In the next step the students team up in groups to investigate one certain method (MRP).

Related posts