Title: Capacity planning in in-plant milk run system

Authors: Mohammed Alnahhal; Bernd Noche

Addresses: Transport Systems and Logistics, Duisburg-Essen University, 47058 Duisburg, Germany ' Transport Systems and Logistics, Duisburg-Essen University, 47058 Duisburg, Germany

Abstract: This study investigates material flow in in-plant milk run system in which a tugger train transports materials and parts from a warehouse to several workstations in one route. The focus of the paper is to deal with train capacity problems due to the dynamic nature of workstations demand where several unique product models needing unique demand requirements are assembled. Dynamic train cycle time, early loading, and minimising extra number of trailers are the tools used in this study to minimise the needed train capacity keeping the area beside stations not to be crowded with bins more than its capacity. This is done step by step using four integer programming models. Randomly generated instances showed that combining the three tools results in great decrease for the extra needed number of trailers, but small decrease in the maximum needed number of trailers.

Keywords: in-plant milk run; just-in-time; JIT; material flow; assembly lines; integer programming; capacity planning; train capacity; trailers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSCOM.2014.064004

International Journal of Service and Computing Oriented Manufacturing, 2014 Vol.1 No.3, pp.197 - 210

Available online: 29 Jul 2014 *

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