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Thome A.M.T.,Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro | Scavarda L.F.,Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro | Pires S.R.I.,Methodist University of Piracicaba | Ceryno P.,Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2014

Over the past two decades, the scope of some key subjects in operations management has extended beyond the single company to include supply chain (SC) partners and their interactions. One example of such an extension is the contemporary concept of supply chain flexibility (SCF). Although there has been considerable academic progress on SCF, most of the previous studies on this topic have been confined to a single firm, thereby neglecting other important aspects of a supply chain. Therefore, the development of empirical multi-tier studies capable of investigating the inter-organisational components of SCF is required. Within this context, this paper has the purpose of exploring the main effects of flexible SC capabilities or their lack at various tiers that limit the SC's ability to provide products to end-customers. The research design was a multiple case study with internal and external validity checks, within-case analysis and cross-case comparisons, based on a research framework that scrutinises the relationships between SC contextual constraints and flexibility types. The study took place in three representative SCs of the Brazilian automotive industry and sought mainly to identify and compare SC contextual constraints that hinder product delivery to end-customers. Constraints such as suppliers' capacity, diversity of suppliers, suppliers' cooperation, trust and commitment, tariffs, exchange rates and inventory were identified in different supplier tiers of the OEMs as the main factors influencing the observed volume and mix flexibilities. Additionally, SCF types such as sourcing, relational, delivery, postponement, new product and responsiveness influenced the SC's flexibility provided to the end-customers. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Weng W.,Zhejiang University of Science and Technology | Fang D.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Fang D.,Tongji University | Li Q.,Zhejiang University of Science and Technology | And 2 more authors.
Nongye Jixie Xuebao/Transactions of the Chinese Society for Agricultural Machinery | Year: 2014

Evaluating indicator for temperature distributions homogeneity was developed through optimization using orthogonal experiment. The influences of rotation speed of air refrigerating machine fan, porosity of flow equalization board and vertical space between frames on temperature distribution were analyzed. The simulation results show that the higher the fan rotation speed is, the better the temperature distribution homogeneity is, although the highest temperature in carriage is basically unchanged; the smaller the porosity is, the better temperature distribution homogeneity is; and the highest temperature in carriage is lowest when the porosity is 0.1; the smaller the frame vertical spacing is, the lower the highest temperature in carriage is and the better temperature distributions homogeneity is. For the "peak area" in temperature distribution, the carriage structure was new designed based on field-coordination principle and the temperature distributions homogeneity can be controlled by adjusting the gas curtain fan's direction in right air-returning outlet.

Bockholt F.,Volkswagen AG | Raabe W.,Volkswagen AG | Toth M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics
International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling | Year: 2011

Global market changes and new business strategies have changed logistic processes. Today, complex supply chains contain numerous manufacturing levels with long-distance transport. Effective planning and control have to follow various objectives like cost reduction, reliability and flexibility, but also ecological targets. This paper introduces Logistic Assistance Systems (LAS) for planning and decision support in supply chains. Designed as lean software systems, LAS focus on logistic planning processes and integrate selected methods for data management, information processing and supply chain planning. First achievements with LAS at Volkswagen Group are now followed by a new promising project. Copyright © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Stroehmer M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics
18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference | Year: 2012

Global e-commerce sales are heading for the $1 trillion dollar mark. In 2010, 170 million people purchased goods online in the US alone [1]. The growth of world wide web sales results in an increasing number of parcel deliveries. Most of the time a shipment consists of more than one product or the packaging design is not suitable for parcel transport. Therefore transport packaging is used to bundle the products and to ensure safe transport. The volume utilization (product to packaging ratio) of most shipments is poor, 20 percent or less is not unusual. The outcome is a lavish use of packaging and void filling materials which then have to be disposed of by the unsatisfied customer. The impacts on the environment are enormous. This excessive use of material destroys ecological resources. Furthermore, the poor utilization of transport capacities leads to increasing carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, neither the carbon footprint nor the packaging related costs (material, storage and distribution costs) are at an optimum. Triggered by this problem, the research project "repac" (reduced packaging assortment costs) was initiated at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, Germany. The scope of the project was the development of a tool which carries out computer aided optimization of packaging spectra with regard to volume utilization.

Clausen U.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Clausen U.,TU Dortmund | Voll R.,TU Dortmund
European Transport Research Review | Year: 2013

Purpose: In comparison to North America, railway companies in Europe are confronted with strong economic issues in running their wagonload traffic. The purpose of this paper is an analysis how infrastructural and institutional differences affect planning issues and economic efficiency. Method: A particular decision problem from railway freight traffic, the Railroad Blocking Problem (RBP), is considered. It is a typical consolidation problem from wagonload traffic, where transport and reclassification costs have to be balanced. A short survey on corresponding optimization models is given. An analysis of the cost structures shows that the share of fix costs in the total transport costs is much higher in Europe than in North America. The objective functions of the models take this into account. They effect that North American models mainly focus on finding short ways for each wagon, while European ones focus on consolidation and high train utilization. The possibility to transfer North American planning concepts to Europe is discussed. Results: Due to institutional and infrastructural reasons, train capacities and cost structures in North American and European railway freight traffic differ from each other. This results in very centralized railway traffic in Europe. According to the different circumstances, the planning issues differ from each other, too. A direct transfer of decision concepts is not possible. Conclusion: Although the planning issues strongly differ from each other, Europe can learn a lot from North American railway planning models. The potentials of decentralized traffic in European railway freight traffic should be investigated. © 2013 The Author(s).

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