Title: Empirical model-building: an integral part of optimising the high frequency tube welding process

Authors: Karel T. Swanepoel

Addresses: Centre for Entrepreneurship, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Pretoria 0001, South Africa

Abstract: In small and medium size manufacturing enterprises, the |base case| argument, regarding the optimisation aspects of manufacturing processes, is what existing manufacturing processes can (potentially) achieve and not what they are achieving currently. The focus of this study was directed towards the improvement of tube manufacturing and in particular, the optimisation of the high frequency tube welding process. The objective was to develop a strategy for determining the optimum process operating conditions. The mechanistic (theoretical) model developed, explained the weld power requirements in terms of process input variables. The sequential MultiSimplex algorithm was applied as the experimental optimisation tool. Evaluative analyses were carried out to determine the success of the optimisation process in terms of improvements in process efficiency, cost savings and potential benefits.

Keywords: empirical models; evaluative analysis; mechanistic models; MultiSimplex algorithms; operating conditions; process variables; tube manufacturing; high frequency welding; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; experimental optimisation; process efficiency; cost savings; industrial engineering; systems engineering; responsive manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISE.2010.031964

International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2010 Vol.5 No.3, pp.327 - 340

Published online: 03 Mar 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article