Discrete Event Simulation

Assembly Line

Use of DES to develop a decision support system for lot size decision-making in manufacturing companies


Authors: Lukas Buddea, Shuangqing Liao, Roman Haenggi, Thomas Friedli

Topics: Discrete Event Simulation

Organizations: Institute of Technology Management at the University of St. Gallen, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences

There exists a wide range of optimization models in the Operations Management (OM) community to solve complex problems such as lot sizing. However, their practical performance is often criticized due to the complexity of implementation and insufficient applicability in real-world decision processes. These theory-driven approaches are either simple to compute, but only focus on single aspects of the decision without being able to capture the practical problem comprehensively, or are complex computational models with limited practicability. We apply a Design Science Research approach to resolve this issue and show how lot size decision-making models should be designed to thoroughly support managers. Our innovative model combines Discrete Event Simulation (DES) with OM methods and is developed and tested in a case study in the metal processing industry. Results reveal that the model is suitable to provide transparency about effects and a range of efficient solutions.

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