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Extending an advanced queueing model to solve network design and inventory trade-off problems in the context of spare part remanufacturing.

The proposed project deals with the design of sustainable spare part refurbishment strategies and fits in the emerging research area known as servitization or product-service systems. This opens important new logistics research issues, but we focus on trade-off decisions regarding the remanufacturing network structure and the inventory allocation, in a multi-item multi-level network, subject to profit maximization and optimized customer response times. The first question is centralization versus decentralization of the remanufacturing facilities. Here costs and benefits related to overhead, labor, inventory, process standardization and price differences need to be balanced against transportation and lead time effects. The second question is to choose between re-make-to-order and re-make-to-stock. Here inventory costs need to be balanced against customer service. The third question is determining the facility capacity and the assignment of flexible workers that supports the network performance. The methodology is an advanced queueing model that is refined with new queueing relationships. Solutions are hard to find because of the joint presence of mixed integer decision variables and nonlinear equations. We will use differential evolution types of algorithms, with possibly an adaptation of the search process to allow better computational performance.
Date:1 Oct 2011 →  30 Sep 2014
Keywords:Contracting, Differential evolution, Queueing, Network design, Remanufacturing
Disciplines:Applied economics, Economic history, Macroeconomics and monetary economics, Microeconomics, Tourism