Simulations-based Approach to the Production Logistic Optimizations

The simulations-based approach to the productions logistic optimizations with the considerations for the layout of productions.

Explained what you are going to do (purpose)

Sectors of Manufacturing in Sri Lanka is having the long traditions as well as representing the significant shares on their national GDP and their exports value. Many Srilankan manufacturing organizations are gone towards the modernizations as well as adaptations processes for competing among this global market. Most of the plant, anyhow, still having shop floors as non-optimized as the adaptation’s consequence over times without redesign their productions as well as logistic flow and with lack of the entire strategies. For supporting the shop floors’ optimization, this project is suggesting the combined usages of Simulations Based Multi-Objectives Optimizations (SBO) as well as Discrete-Events Simulations (DES) under their research strategies on the designing and creations. The project aim is for supporting the optimizations and improvements of their high products mix as well as the low volumes of their customized product systems of manufacturing through consider the logistic flow and production along the layouts of shop floors. A methodology is expected for contributing to increasing significantly of their efficiency and productivity of the Srilankan industry of manufacturing and helping organizations for surviving among this global market. The future results will be served to stakeholder and decision makers for applying adaptation and changes on their system consider their long and mid term goals of their organization. Go through various case studies implemented on the mid-sized water pump manufacturer, that methodology is going to be as useful on practices and that is providing the decisions supports system to these certain industrial partners as well as is serving as the guideline to some other manufacturing organizations.

Stated the research question(s) and / or aims and objectives (hypotheses)

This project’s aim is to be supporting the optimization and improvement of productions and logistic system with considering the layout of shop floor and the high products mix and the low volumes productions mid-sized manufacturers.

This project’s major objectives are:

The areas are very interested to Srilankan industry due to lot of plant at this country is having the long history as well as do not flows-optimizing. That in turns is increasing the costs to the productions, flows efficiency as well as the utilization of resources. Address those issues are going to help this Srilankan industry for increasing their future production growth, capacity and competitiveness.

Explained why you are doing it

Most of the mid-sized facilities of manufacturing in the Srilankan industrial sector are being adapted the long decades for meeting the requirement as well as evolution demands of international organizations. Most of the time that results in various extension of many buildings of shop floors along the aggregating installation mainly because of continuous adaptations, expansions, and modernizations of their productions systems. For supporting the decision makers for increasing the efficiency and productivity and for having the good defined perspective as long terms while adapt that type of mid-sized facilities of manufacturing, studies of simulation for finding future improvement and feasibilities of various part of their systems must analyze, design and build.

Identified why it is worth doing

The future results will be served to stakeholder and decision makers for applying adaptation and changes on their system consider their long and mid term goals of their organization. Go through various case studies implemented on the mid-sized water pump manufacturer, that methodology is going to be as useful on practices and that is providing the decisions supports system to these certain industrial partners as well as is serving as the guideline to some other manufacturing organizations.  Stated any underlying theoretical frameworks that informs what you are doing and how you will use it

Here this project content’s summary, few problems for confront as well as the literature reviews of this project’s major topics are stated. Those topics are including logistic, productions and layouts; high products mix as well as low volumes productions; & simulation-based optimization of multi objectives.

Logistic, productions and layouts

This project’s major research application along the industrial partners is for trying to be solving the problem of part feeding in the major shop floors of those factory. That is referred as the problems to deliver the essential parts, in right times, for various productions lines along the appropriate methods of transportations via the layout of shop floors. That problem was been studied widely, mainly at some certain sectors of manufacturing. automotive industry’s part logistics have been analysed deeply by Boysen and various logistics types are described by Ziarnetzky analysed models of aircraft assembly line through DES. The procedure of heuristic solution is stated by Golz for minimizing the needed drivers to shuttle in-house tours among parts storages and area of delivery at the sector of automotive. However, this topic considered the problem of part feeding have been discussed by the authors. Golz is divided that problems into the transportations order planning and the assigning these orders for the system of shuttle consider the restrictions of transportations capacity.

Low-volumes productions and High products mix

Low-volumes assembly line along the huge variants of products are characterized through the high amounts of manual process, constrain on buffer spaces, specialized resource as well as external supplier. Ziarnetzky stated that low-volumes serial productions are usually characterized through the large-size objects typically with small numbers along the big numbers of essential steps of processing. The products characteristics requires great levels of customizations, often include the complex bills of material, many routes and the great parallelism extend. The processing time is usually relying in the essential workers’ skills and amount; the automation degree is less often mainly because of lot of processes are labor intensive. The complexity’s main sources of that production types are the great customizations, the huge amounts of involved supplier, the highly skilled essential workforces, the staff’s learning curves and the spatial constrain to objects of systems. Golz stated that the major problems relevant to the system of production with the high products mix at the sector of automotive are: for determining the production lines’ appropriate configurations About the process and equipment of the various station, for having the productions lines balanced based on the intended production as well as the master schedule of production to individuals model over the short-terms planning, as well as productions sequences and resequencing on the cases of disruptions and the controlling the material flows.

Multi-objectives Simulation-based Optimizations

Simulation is the analytical tool for creating, maintaining, evaluating or improving the systems or processes. That is the operational imitation of reality world processes or systems over times and presenting the high potential to the improvement and development of manufacturing processes [Tempelmeiera, H, Banks, J].

That have been stated that techniques of simulation are the approach as most suitability to complex system’s process improvements along greater variability. The difficulty and variability of the process among the complex systems is demanding the DES’s analytic powers. A kind of characteristics more highlighted of DES’ studies is a possibility for applying “what-if” scenarios or questions for the current system without disturb those. Among those scenario new alternative, system, idea and work proceeding could be tried out without disturb their real systems or being developed before even the system being constructed [Figueira, G. and B. Almada-Lobo,].

As simulation does not the tool of optimization by itself, the step that combining the optimization and simulation is needed while system’s many possible combinations will be analyzed. Normally, optimization and simulation are being considered as various approaches at the domain of operational research, however those are much time integrating and last this concept is for using the simulation’s detail system’s behavior at combinations with its optimization ability for reaching the optimal or near for optimal solution [Figueira, G. and B. Almada-Lobo]. That is being stated that the combination of simulation and optimization tools allowing the decision makers for quickly determining optimal configuration of system, even to integrated complex facilities [Jacobson, S.H., S.N. Hall, & J.R. Swisher]. While many objectives are being considered simultaneously, this Simulations -based Multi-objectives Optimizations (SBO) is a much promising approach as ell. SBO is facilitating the search to the trade-off among many conflict objectives [Deb, K.].

Depends on the problem types for analyzing, there are various methods of optimization that are being used at combinations with simulations, of which many are stated by Figueira & Almada-Lobo. Various authors are explained how the optimization and simulation techniques together applied is improved materials handling and production system. Nevertheless, there is not much case identified the literatures where SBO and DES are together applied for supporting the designing and/or developments of logistics and productions systems of the high products mix & low volumes productions.

Outlined how you will conduct the research

This research’s proposed methodology is according to the Designing and Creations strategy of research [Oates, B.J., Hevner, A. and S. Chatterjee]. This research strategy’s election is according to the project aim’s creation aspects, for creating the guideline for supporting the optimizations and improvements of mid sized systems of manufacturing with higher products mix as well as the customized low volumes products, stating various types of productions and logistic system and consider the configurations of their layout of shop floors. Next reason for base the research strategy’s election is the requirements of the implemented procedures’ methodical documentations at this project’s various steps, for producing the properly evaluated and defined artefact.

Justify your research design

The proposed research strategy’s key principles can be presented as follows:

•         Designing as artefact

•         relevance of Problem

•         Designing the evaluation

•         contributions of Research

•         Research rigor

•         Research as the process of searching

•         Research Communication

Explained how you will select your participants

Graduated student, those supervisors & mentors will be connected to this Research School. Work of This Research School is according to the combinations of available knowledge at the partner companies as well as the Information Technology’s capacity and the faculties of Engineering Science

Explained how you will gain access to them

This Research School concentrate on illustrate how the advancements among computer science and engineering could be used for implementing the systems of information technology that are benefit to the organizations, individuals, and their society generally, & how with the organizational and socio-technical perspectives could be integrated for creating the useful systems solution.

Outlined how you will collect your data

Go through those principles as well as deeply analyze this project’s problem descriptions, strategy of this research must be the research frameworks to the optimization and simulation approaches’ application to the improvement of systems presented. According to the Figure 1 below, the framework of research is defined by their interrelation of the 3 key bodies that could be contained on this research (Environments, Designing Science as well as Knowledge Bases):

Figure 1: research framework for Information system [Kuechler, B. & V. Vaishnavi]

The 1st key body to considering on the strategy of this research is their environments, which at this case that are presenting their existing technology at the sector of manufacturing and their evolution for the new capabilities and systems. This potential and actual environments are the major input for the project’s phase of development along with current knowledge bases as well as the problems descriptions defined previously. knowledge bases are compounded mainly by methodologies and foundations; among the foundation, entire explicit researches & industrial materials as well as information must be taken to consider; among their methodologies, the various measures for evaluating the bases on implementations, the formalism & the analyzed knowledge’s validation must be stated. Hence, within the phase of development, iterations between new suggestion for the implementation, the phase of development, experimentations and their evaluation must be performed until their solid conclusion’s achievements. When the conclusion’s achievement is sufficient satisfactory, that knowledge must return for the base of knowledge and for their environment bodies for enriching those, close the cycle of research base and designing science.

For finalizing, the entire project’s proper evaluation must be done for addressing their purpose’s fulfillment. Consequently their generation of data phases and documentation can be implemented, containing on this case, implementation of case study as well as real results data, useful to their industrial partner as well as used to the evaluation and assessment of this research project.

Outlined how you will analyse your data (what analysis tools you might use)

The artefact proposed to be generated as this methodology’s part is guidelines mentioned to system improvements for high products mix as well as the customized low volumes product systems of manufacturing. That artefact would also be according to the methodology of simulation stated by Banks that is relaying on SBO and DES tools for addressing the improvements and analysis of various logistic and productions systems consider the layout of shop floors. To show the methodology’s industrial applicability, that would be implemented at various case studies along with their industrial partners.

Outlined what data quality issues you may encounter

Many limitations are there which must be addressed to the processes of improvements , few of those are the lacks of sufficient free spaces at the shop floors, their excessive traffic amounts inside their factories, the persons’ coexistence and heavy transporting vehicles at the focused area, the extensive amounts of needed manpower for producing various products variants and the stopping production’s difficulties in specific level, all those problem must be focused while analyze and propose the alternatives to the improvement of systems.

This project’s aim is concerning the long terms approaches such as perspectives on both long and short terms. That means, their systems going to take into their considerations on the project’s development must have few relations with their perspective of long terms on the methodology of improvements. So, the minor’s system, improvements or changes that would not be contained on the long terms thinking or being affected through that must be eliminated from their methodology unless essential strictly.

Same as, the possible problem on planning because of changes in layout and modification of operation on their facilities, must be stated by their industrial partner hence the aims of long terms research can be supported despite short terms changes in systems. The higher risks of focus too much on technical problem, coordination, local planning, cost or developments must be focused while implement the changes on their existing facilities as well.

Outlined how you will seek to overcome these quality issues

Because of the broad covertures as well as the various entities involving on this project, should establish the boundaries for avoiding the excess on simplifications, specifications or generalizations. Furthermore, this project is including the changes on their industrial partner’s existing facilities generate some difficulties on timing on the planning of case study.

For establishing this project’s some boundaries regard the productions flows scope, the prior considerations are to include the flow of major material from their productions site’s goods’ entry dock until their final products are being ready for shipments to factories. About their productions lines, entire processes that adding values to their product, start when their materials are being delivered to their lines until that is leaving the productions lines must be contained. On the certain case of this industrial partner, the packing and painting processes do not consider as the productions lines’ part (because of that those are separated And differentiated clearly from their processes of production). Other some delimitation that should be more specifically stated and relevant to this industrial partner, do usually include in the assumptions list delivered in this project’s different stages along with the various sub-assignments or simulation models on this research as well. Last, this project’s scope is limited for mid-sized manufacturers with the high products mix as well as low volume customized products.

Considered any ethical issues that may arise


1. Any teaching or assessment that involves participation of students for the demonstration of procedures or phenomena that have a potential to cause discomfort, embarrassment or psychological or spiritual harm to participants, including those from different cultural groups. – NO

2. Use of questionnaire/survey or interview, whether or not it is anonymous, that might cause discomfort, embarrassment or psychological or spiritual harm to participants, including those from different cultural groups. – NO

3. Processes that are potentially disadvantageous to a person/group, such as collection of information that may expose a person/group to discrimination. – NO

4. Collection of information of illegal behaviour(s) gained during research that could place participants at legal risks or damage their financial standing, employability, professional or personal relationships. – NO

5. Any form of exercise regime, physical examination, deprivation (e.g. sleep, dietary). – NO

6. Collection of blood, body fluid, tissue samples and other samples. – NO

7. The administration of any form of drug or medicine including placebo. – NO

8. Physical pain beyond mild discomfort for the participant. – NO

9. Situations in which the researcher may be at risk of harm or be subject to a conflict of interest/crossing a boundary. – NO

10. Conflict of interest exists where the researcher is also the lecturer/teacher/ colleague/employer of research participants. – NO

11. Other conflict of interest situation for the researcher (e.g. where the project is funding or supported in any way that may result in a conflict of interest; where the researcher has a financial interest in the outcome; or there is a professional or other relationship between the researcher and participants). – NO


12. Participants whose identity is known to the researcher give oral consent, but not written consent, other than for cultural reasons (or answer NO if participants are anonymous). YES

13. Participants who are unable to give informed consent. – NO

14. Research on own students. – NO

15. The participation of children seven years old or younger. – NO

16. Participation of children under 16 years old where parental consent is not being sought. – NO

17. Participants who are in a dependent situation, such as people with a disability, residents of a hospital, nursing home or prison, or people highly dependent on medical care. – NO

18. Participants who are vulnerable or members of vulnerable groups within society. – NO

19. Deception of participants, including concealment and covert observations. – NO

20. The use of previously collected identifiable information or research data for which there was no explicit consent for this research. YES

21. The use of previously collected biological samples for which there was no explicit consent for this research. – NO


22. Any evaluation of WITT services or organisational practices where information of a personal nature may be collected and where participants may be identified. – NO

23. Any evaluation of other organisational services or practices where information of a personal nature may be collected and where participants may be identified. – NO

24. Payments or other financial inducements (other than koha, or reasonable reimbursements for travel, time) to participants. – NO

25. The use of staff or facilities of a health provider. – NO

26. Support, directly or indirectly, in full or in part, by public health funds. – NO

27. Participants who are patients/clients of, or information about an identifiable individual held by an organisation. – NO

28. A clinical trial or research undertaken overseas. – NO


29. A requirement by an outside organisation (e.g. a funding organisation or a journal in which you wish to publish) for Ethics Committee approval. YES

30. I wish to submit a full application for training/education purposes. YES

Provided a budget estimate

According to this research, we are going to spend around 50000 on this research as well.


The relevant research questions that this project aims for addressing are:

Combine the objectives and aim that compounding this project, those questions must be stated. The 2 major approaches on which the project would be accordance to SBO and DES. The areas are very interesting to the Srilankan industry because of plants on this country is having the long history as well as do not flows-optimize. That fact is limiting the future capacity of their productions, growth and competitiveness of this Srilankan industry.

Provided a schedule of activities (Gantt Chart)

The plan proposed to this research is shown on the figure 2 as follows. At the figure’s left part that is possible for seeing the time periods where this research will be preliminary taken. On the table’s upper row headings is that possible for appreciating the key tasks division : literature surveys, experiments I & II, case studies & the thesis writings as well as conferences & journal paper. At this project’s Ecuador line, the licentiate or thesis proposal is being programed.

Figure 02: Research plan

3.4. Expected outcomes

This research’s outcome must be presented the analysis in the forms of the guidelines addressing various types of productions and logistic systems consider the layout of shop floors’ configurations for making similar mid-sized systems of manufacturing along high products mix as well as the customized low volumes products more efficiently working. That analysis must be supported through SBO and DES techniques as well as must be complemented through reality case studies that supporting and validating that give some benefits for the industrial partner mentioned. Apart from this project’s aim, the objectives presented must be also stated at this project’s outcomes:

The combinations of the guidelines along the industrial case studies could be really the useful tool for increasing the productions as well as efficiencies of similar mid-sized manufacturers globally. Support that guidelines with the optimizations and simulation, the trials & validations of future improvement of this system could be implemented without the requirements of interrupt that or even work at the designing phases of new system for the construction. This research’s future results is serving for the decision makers and stakeholders for increasing the efficiency and productivity of various & complex systems of production with high products mix as well as the customized low-volumes products globally.


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