|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 227|
This paper presents a ground structure method to optimize the topology and discrete member sizing of steel frame structures in order to minimize total installed cost, including material, fabrication and erection components. The proposed method improves upon existing cost-based ground structure methods by incorporating constructability considerations well as satisfying both strength and serviceability constraints. The architecture for the method is a bi-level Multidisciplinary Feasible (MDF) architecture in which the discrete member sizing optimization is nested within the topology optimization process. For each structural topology generated, the sizing optimization process seek to find a set of discrete member sizes that result in the lowest total installed cost while satisfying strength (member utilization) and serviceability (node deflection and story drift) criteria. To accurately assess cost, the connection details for the structure are generated automatically using accurate site-specific cost information obtained directly from fabricators and erectors. Member continuity rules are also applied to each node in the structure to improve constructability. The proposed optimization method is benchmarked against conventional weight-based ground structure optimization methods resulting in an average cost savings of up to 30% with comparable computational efficiency.
The case study method in this paper shows the implementation of Information Technology (IT) and the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) in a Croatian company that deals with logistics operations and provides logistics services in the cold chain segment. This company is aware of the sensitivity of the goods entrusted to them by the user of the service, as well as of the importance of speed and accuracy in providing logistics services. To that end, it has implemented and used the latest IT to ensure the highest standard of high-quality logistics services to its customers. Looking for efficiency and optimization of supply chain management, while maintaining a high level of quality of the products that are sold, today's users of outsourced logistics services are open to the implementation of new IT products that ultimately deliver savings. By analysing the positive results and the difficulties that arise when using this technology, we aim to provide an insight into the potential of this approach of the logistics service provider.
This paper analyzes recent trends in cost efficiency of European cooperative banks using efficient frontier analysis. Our methodology is based on stochastic frontier analysis which is run on a set of 649 European cooperative banks using data between 2006 and 2015. Our results show that average inefficiency of European cooperative banks is increasing since 2008, smaller cooperative banks are significantly more efficient than the bigger ones over the whole time period and that share of net fee and commission income to total income surprisingly seems to have no impact on bank cost efficiency.
Different transportation modes have key operational advantages and disadvantages, providing a variety of different transport options to users and passengers. This paper reviews key variables for the competition between air transport and other transport modes. The aim of this paper is to review the competition between air transport and other transport modes, providing results in terms of perceived cost for the users, for destinations high competitiveness for all transport modes. The competitor analysis variables include the cost and time outputs for each transport option, highlighting the level of competitiveness on high demanded Origin-Destination corridors. The case study presents the output of a such analysis for the OD corridor in Greece that connects the Capital city (Athens) with the second largest city (Thessaloniki) and the different transport modes have been considered (air, train, road). Conventional wisdom is to present an easy to handle tool for planners, managers and decision makers towards pricing policy effectiveness and demand attractiveness, appropriate to use for other similar cases.
Dependencies between diverse factors involved in probabilistic seismic loss evaluation are recognized to be an imperative issue in acquiring accurate loss estimates. Dependencies among component damage costs could be taken into account considering two partial distinct states of independent or perfectly-dependent for component damage states; however, in our best knowledge, there is no available procedure to take account of loss dependencies in story level. This paper attempts to present a method called "modal cost superposition method" for decoupling story damage costs subjected to earthquake ground motions dealt with closed form differential equations between damage cost and engineering demand parameters which should be solved in complex system considering all stories' cost equations by the means of the introduced "substituted matrixes of mass and stiffness". Costs are treated as probabilistic variables with definite statistic factors of median and standard deviation amounts and a presumed probability distribution. To supplement the proposed procedure and also to display straightforwardness of its application, one benchmark study has been conducted. Acceptable compatibility has been proven for the estimated damage costs evaluated by the new proposed modal and also frequently used stochastic approaches for entire building; however, in story level, insufficiency of employing modification factor for incorporating occurrence probability dependencies between stories has been revealed due to discrepant amounts of dependency between damage costs of different stories. Also, more dependency contribution in occurrence probability of loss could be concluded regarding more compatibility of loss results in higher stories than the lower ones, whereas reduction in incorporation portion of cost modes provides acceptable level of accuracy and gets away from time consuming calculations including some limited number of cost modes in high mode situation.
The purpose of this study is to provide some empirical evidence about implementing Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in the hospitality industry in Iran. For this purpose, we consider the Tabriz International Hotel as our sample hotel and then gather the relevant data from its cost accounting system in 2012. Then, we use ABC as our costing method and compare the cost of each service unit with that cost which had been extracted for the traditional costing method. The results show a different cost per unit for two methods. Also, because of its more precise and detailed provided information, an ABC system facilitates the decision-making process for managers on decisions related to profitability analysis, budgeting, pricing, and so on.
Recently, the Italian government has approved a new law for public contracts and has been laying the groundwork for restarting a planning phase. The government has adopted the indications given by the European Commission regarding the estimation of the external costs within the Cost-Benefit Analysis, and has been approved the ‘Guidelines for assessment of Investment Projects’. In compliance with the new Italian law, the aim of this research was to perform a feasibility study applying quantitative methods regarding the revamping of an Italian tourist railway line. A Cost-Benefit Analysis was performed starting from the quantification of the passengers’ demand potentially interested in using the revamped rail services. The benefits due to the external costs reduction were also estimated (quantified) in terms of variations (with respect to the not project scenario): climate change, air pollution, noises, congestion, and accidents. Estimations results have been proposed in terms of the Measure of Effectiveness underlying a positive Net Present Value equal to about 27 million of Euros, an Internal Rate of Return much greater the discount rate, a benefit/cost ratio equal to 2 and a PayBack Period of 15 years.
Currently, database management systems have various tools such as backup and maintenance, and also provide statistical information such as resource usage and security. In terms of query performance, this paper covers query optimization, views, indexed tables, pre-computation materialized view, query performance analysis in which query plan alternatives can be created and the least costly one selected to optimize a query. Indexes and views can be created for related table columns. The literature review of this study showed that, in the course of time, despite the growing capabilities of the database management system, only database administrators are aware of the need for dealing with archival and transactional data types differently. These data may be constantly changing data used in everyday life, and also may be from the completed questionnaire whose data input was completed. For both types of data, the database uses its capabilities; but as shown in the findings section, instead of repeating similar heavy calculations which are carrying out same results with the same query over a survey results, using materialized view results can be in a more simple way. In this study, this performance difference was observed quantitatively considering the cost of the query.
Software maintenance phase is started once a software project has been developed and delivered. After that, any modification to it corresponds to maintenance. Software maintenance involves modifications to keep a software project usable in a changed or a changing environment, to correct discovered faults, and modifications, and to improve performance or maintainability. Software maintenance and management of software maintenance are recognized as two most important and most expensive processes in a life of a software product. This research is basing the prediction of maintenance, on risks and time evaluation, and using them as data sets for working with neural networks. The aim of this paper is to provide support to project maintenance managers. They will be able to pass the issues planned for the next software-service-patch to the experts, for risk and working time evaluation, and afterward to put all data to neural networks in order to get software maintenance prediction. This process will lead to the more accurate prediction of the working hours needed for the software-service-patch, which will eventually lead to better planning of budget for the software maintenance projects.
Economic optimization of shell and tube heat exchanger (STHE) is presented in this paper. To increase the rate of heat transfer, copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticle is added into the tube side fluid and their optimum results are compared with the case of without additive nanoparticle. Total annual cost (TAC) is selected as fitness function and nine decision variables related to the heat exchanger parameters as well as concentration of nanoparticle are considered. Optimization results reveal the noticeable improvement in the TAC and in the case of heat exchanger working with nanofluid compared with the case of base fluid (8.9%). Comparison of the results between two studied cases also reveal that the lower tube diameter, tube number, and baffle spacing are needed in the case of heat exchanger working with nanofluid compared with the case of base fluid.
To design a product with the given product requirement and design objective, there can be alternative ways to propose the detailed design specifications of the product. In the design modeling stage, alternative design cases with detailed specifications can be modeled to fulfill the product requirement and design objective. Therefore, in the design evaluation stage, it is required to perform an evaluation of the alternative design cases for deciding the final design. The purpose of this research is to develop a product evaluation model for evaluating the alternative design cases by integrated evaluating the criteria of functional design, Kansei design, and design for supply chain. The criteria in the functional design group include primary function, expansion function, improved function, and new function. The criteria in the Kansei group include geometric shape, dimension, surface finish, and layout. The criteria in the design for supply chain group include material, manufacturing process, assembly, and supply chain operation. From the point of view of value and cost, the criteria in the functional design group and Kansei design group represent the design value of the product. The criteria in the design for supply chain group represent the supply chain and manufacturing cost of the product. It is required to evaluate the design value and the supply chain cost to determine the final design. For the purpose of evaluating the criteria in the three criteria groups, a fuzzy analytic network process (FANP) method is presented to evaluate a weighted index by calculating the total relational values among the three groups. A method using the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) is used to compare and rank the design alternative cases according to the weighted index using the total relational values of the criteria. The final decision of a design case can be determined by using the ordered ranking. For example, the design case with the top ranking can be selected as the final design case. Based on the criteria in the evaluation, the design objective can be achieved with a combined and weighted effect of the design value and manufacturing cost. An example product is demonstrated and illustrated in the presentation. It shows that the design evaluation model is useful for integrated evaluation of functional design, Kansei design, and design for supply chain to determine the best design case and achieve the design objective.
Optimal load factors (dead, live and seismic) used for the design of buildings may be different, depending of the seismic ground motion characteristics to which they are subjected, which are closely related to the type of soil conditions where the structures are located. The influence of the type of soil on those load factors, is analyzed in the present study. A methodology that is useful for establishing optimal load factors that minimize the cost over the life cycle of the structure is employed; and as a restriction, it is established that the probability of structural failure must be less than or equal to a prescribed value. The life-cycle cost model used here includes different types of costs. The optimization methodology is applied to two groups of reinforced concrete buildings. One set (consisting on 4-, 7-, and 10-story buildings) is located on firm ground (with a dominant period Ts=0.5 s) and the other (consisting on 6-, 12-, and 16-story buildings) on soft soil (Ts=1.5 s) of Mexico City. Each group of buildings is designed using different combinations of load factors. The statistics of the maximums inter-story drifts (associated with the structural capacity) are found by means of incremental dynamic analyses. The buildings located on firm zone are analyzed under the action of 10 strong seismic records, and those on soft zone, under 13 strong ground motions. All the motions correspond to seismic subduction events with magnitudes M=6.9. Then, the structural damage and the expected total costs, corresponding to each group of buildings, are estimated. It is concluded that the optimal load factors combination is different for the design of buildings located on firm ground than that for buildings located on soft soil.
Buildings vulnerability due to seismic activity has been highly studied since the middle of last century. As a solution to the structural and non-structural damage caused by intense ground motions, several seismic energy dissipating devices, such as buckling-restrained braces (BRB), have been proposed. BRB have shown to be effective in concentrating a large portion of the energy transmitted to the structure by the seismic ground motion. A design approach for buildings with BRB elements, which is based on a seismic Displacement-Based formulation, has recently been proposed by the coauthors in this paper. It is a practical and easy design method which simplifies the work of structural engineers. The method is used here for the design of the structure-BRB damper system. The objective of the present study is to extend and apply a methodology to find the best combination of design parameters on multiple-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) structural frame – BRB systems, taking into account simultaneously: 1) initial costs and 2) an adequate engineering demand parameter. The design parameters considered here are: the stiffness ratio (α = Kframe/Ktotal), and the strength ratio (γ = Vdamper/Vtotal); where K represents structural stiffness and V structural strength; and the subscripts "frame", "damper" and "total" represent: the structure without dampers, the BRB dampers and the total frame-damper system, respectively. The selection of the best combination of design parameters α and γ is based on an initial costs analysis and on the structural dynamic response of the structural frame-damper system. The methodology is applied to a 12-story 5-bay steel building with BRB, which is located on the intermediate soil of Mexico City. It is found the best combination of design parameters α and γ for the building with BRB under study.
The research examines the factors that affect customer churn (CC) in the Jordanian telecom industry. A total of 700 surveys were distributed. Cluster analysis revealed three main clusters. Results showed that CC and customer satisfaction (CS) were the key determinants in forming the three clusters. In two clusters, the center values of CC were high, indicating that the customers were loyal and SC was expensive and time- and energy-consuming. Still, the mobile service provider (MSP) should enhance its communication (COM), and value added services (VASs), as well as customer complaint management systems (CCMS). Finally, for the third cluster the center of the CC indicates a poor level of loyalty, which facilitates customers churn to another MSP. The results of this study provide valuable feedback for MSP decision makers regarding approaches to improving their performance and reducing CC.
A smart city project embraces benefits and costs which can be classified under direct and indirect categories. Externalities come into the picture, but they are often difficult to quantify. Despite this barrier, policy makers need to carry out cost-benefit analysis to justify the huge investments needed to make a city smart. The recent trend is towards the engagement of the private sector to utilize their resources and expertise, especially in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) areas, where innovations blossom. This study focuses on the identification of costs (on a life cycle basis) and benefits associated with smart city project developments based on a comprehensive literature review and case studies, where public-private partnerships would warrant consideration, the related costs and benefits are highlighted. The findings will be useful for policy makers of cities.
Two-wheel tractor (power tiller) is a common tillage tool in Bangladesh agriculture for easy access in fragmented land with affordable price of small farmers. Traditional maize sheller needs to be carried from place to place by hooking with two-wheel tractor (2WT) and set up again for shelling operation which takes longer time for preparation of maize shelling. The mobile maize sheller eliminates the transportation problem and can start shelling operation instantly any place as it is attached together with 2WT. It is counterclockwise rotating cylinder, axial flow type sheller, and grain separated with a frictional force between spike tooth and concave. The maize sheller is attached with nuts and bolts in front of the engine base of 2WT. The operating power of the sheller comes from the fly wheel of the engine of the tractor through ‘V” belt pulley arrangement. The average shelling capacity of the mobile sheller is 2.0 t/hr, broken kernel 2.2%, and shelling efficiency 97%. The average maize shelling cost is Tk. 0.22/kg and traditional custom hire rate is Tk.1.0/kg, respectively (1 US$=Tk.78.0). The service provider of the 2WT can transport the mobile maize sheller long distance in operator’s seating position. The manufacturers started the fabrication of mobile maize sheller. This mobile maize sheller is also compatible for the other countries where 2WT is available for farming operation.
In this article, the flexible job-shop scheduling problem is extended by consideration of energy costs which arise owing to the power peak, and further decision variables such as work in process and throughput time are incorporated into the objective function. This enables a production plan to be simultaneously optimized in respect of the real arising energy and logistics costs. The energy-costs-aware flexible job-shop scheduling problem (EFJSP) which arises is described mathematically, and a memetic algorithm (MA) is presented as a solution. In the MA, the evolutionary process is supplemented with a local search. Furthermore, repair procedures are used in order to rectify any infeasible solutions that have arisen in the evolutionary process. The potential for lowering the real arising costs of a production plan through consideration of energy consumption levels is highlighted.
Discussions on concepts of Single Axis Tracker (SAT) are becoming more and more apt for developing countries like India not just as an advancement in racking technology but due to the utmost necessity of reaching at the lowest Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) targets. With this increasing competition and significant fall in feed-in tariffs of solar PV projects, developers are under constant pressure to secure investment for their projects and eventually earn profits from them. Moreover, being the second largest populated country, India suffers from scarcity of land because of higher average population density. So, to mitigate the risk of this dual edged sword with reducing trend of unit (kWh) cost at one side and utilization of land on the other, tracking evolved as the call of the hour. Therefore, the prime objectives of this paper are not only to showcase how STT proves to be an effective mechanism to get more gain in Global Incidence in collector plane (Ginc) with respect to traditional mounting systems but also to introduce Seasonally Tilted Tracker (STT) technology as a possible option for high latitude locations.
Construction technology and on-site construction activities have a direct influence on the life cycle costs of energy efficiently renovated apartment buildings. The systematic inadequacies of the External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS) which occur during the construction phase increase the risk for all stakeholders, reduce mechanical durability and increase the life cycle costs of the building. The economic effect of these shortcomings can be minimised if the risk of the most significant on-site activities is recognised. The objective of the presented ETICS economic assessment concept is to evaluate the economic influence of on-site shortcomings and reveal their significance to the foreseeable future repair costs. The model assembles repair techniques, discusses their direct cost calculation methods, argues over the proper usage of net present value over the life cycle of the building, and proposes a simulation tool to evaluate the risk of on-site activities. As the technique is dependent on the selected real interest rate, a sensitivity analysis is anticipated to determine the validity of the recommendations. After the verification of the model on the sample buildings by the industry, it is expected to increase economic rationality of resource allocation and reduce high-risk systematic shortcomings during the construction process of ETICS.
The confirmatory of Total Quality Management (TQM) implementation is most vital in quality management. This paper focuses on employees' perceptions towards TQM implementation in a local automotive company supplier. The objectives of this study are first and foremost to determine the perception of TQM implementation among the staff, and secondly to ascertain the correlation between the variables, and lastly to identify the relative influence of the 10 TQM variables on the cost of poor quality (COPQ). The TQM implementation is perceived to be moderate. All correlation is found to be significant and five variables having positively moderate to high correlation. Out of 10 variables, quality system improvement, reward and recognition and customer focus influence the perceived COPQ. This study extended a discussion on these three variables contribution to TQM in general and the human resource development in the organization. A significant recommendation to lowering costs of internal error, such as trouble shooting and scraps are also discussed. Certain components of further research that would add value to this study have also been suggested and perhaps could be implemented at policy-level initiatives.
An aspect of client expenditure management that requires attention is the level of accuracy achievable in design-stage elemental cost planning. This has been a major concern for construction clients and practitioners in New Zealand (NZ). Pre-tender estimating inaccuracies are significantly influenced by the level of risk information available to estimators. Proper cost planning activities should ensure the production of a project’s likely construction costs (initial and final), and subsequent cost control activities should prevent unpleasant consequences of cost overruns, disputes and project abandonment. If risks were properly identified and priced at the design stage, observed variance between design-stage elemental cost plans (ECPs) and final tender sums (FTS) (initial contract sums) could be reduced. This study investigates the variations between design-stage ECPs and FTS of construction projects, with a view to identifying risk factors that are responsible for the observed variance. Data were sourced through interviews, and risk factors were identified by using thematic analysis. Access was obtained to project files from the records of study participants (consultant quantity surveyors), and document analysis was employed in complementing the responses from the interviews. Study findings revealed the discrepancies between ECPs and FTS in the region of -14% and +16%. It is opined in this study that the identified risk factors were responsible for the variability observed. The values obtained from the analysis would enable greater accuracy in the forecast of FTS by Quantity Surveyors. Further, whilst inherent risks in construction project developments are observed globally, these findings have important ramifications for construction projects by expanding existing knowledge on what is needed for reasonable budgetary performance and successful delivery of construction projects. The findings contribute significantly to the study by providing quantitative confirmation to justify the theoretical conclusions generated in the literature from around the world. This therefore adds to and consolidates existing knowledge.
In the current expropriation of Turkey, the state acquires necessary lands for its investment without permission of the owners and not searching for alternative solutions, so it is determined that neither processor nor processed is not happy. In this study, interactions of enterprises in Turkey are analysed in case the necessary land for public investments are acquired by expropriation purposed land consolidation. Legal basis, positive and negative sides, financial effects to enterprises of this method is evaluated according to Konya Kadınhanı, Kolukısa avenue which is on the Konya-Ankara High-Speed Train Route.
Air jet weaving is the most productive, but also the most energy consuming weaving method. Increasing energy costs and environmental impact are constantly a challenge for the manufacturers of weaving machines. Current technological developments concern with low energy costs, low environmental impact, high productivity, and constant product quality. The high degree of energy consumption of the method can be ascribed to the high need of compressed air. An energy efficiency method is applied to the air jet weaving technology. Such method identifies and classifies the main relevant energy consumers and processes from the exergy point of view and it leads to the identification of energy efficiency potentials during the weft insertion process. Starting from the design phase, energy efficiency is considered as the central requirement to be satisfied. The initial phase of the method consists of an analysis of the state of the art of the main weft insertion components in order to point out a prioritization of the high demanding energy components and processes. The identified major components are investigated to reduce the high demand of energy of the weft insertion process. During the interaction of the flow field coming from the relay nozzles within the profiled reed, only a minor part of the stream is really accelerating the weft yarn, hence resulting in large energy inefficiency. Different tools such as FEM analysis, CFD simulation models and experimental analysis are used in order to design a more energy efficient design of the involved components in the filling insertion. A different concept for the metal strip of the profiled reed is developed. The developed metal strip allows a reduction of the machine energy consumption. Based on a parametric and aerodynamic study, the designed reed transmits higher values of the flow power to the filling yarn. The innovative reed fulfills both the requirement of raising energy efficiency and the compliance with the weaving constraints.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the monetary worthiness of investment and the usefulness of risk estimation as a tool employed by a production section of an electronic factory. This study employed the case study of accidents occurring in production areas. Data is collected from interviews with six production of safety coordinators and collect the information from the relevant section. The study will present the ratio of benefits compared with the operation costs for investment. The result showed that it is worthwhile for investment with the safety measures. In addition, the organizations must be able to analyze the causes of accidents about the benefits of investing in protective working process. They also need to quickly provide the manual for the staff to learn how to protect themselves from accidents and how to use all of the safety equipment.
The Middle East Gulf region has witnessed rapid growth and development in many areas over the last two decades. The development of the real-estate sector, construction industry and infrastructure projects are a major share of the development that has participated in the civilization of the countries of the Gulf. Construction industry projects were planned and managed by different types of experts, who came from all over the world having different types of experiences in construction management and industry. Some of these projects were completed on time, while many were not, due to many accumulating factors. Many accumulated factors are considered as the principle reason for the problem experienced at the project construction stage, which reflected negatively on the project success. Specific causes of delay have been identified by construction managers to avoid any unexpected delays through proper analysis and considerations to some implications such as risk assessment and analysis for many potential problems to ensure that projects will be delivered on time. Construction management implications were adopted and considered by project managers who have experience and knowledge in applying the techniques of the system of engineering construction management. The aim of this research is to determine the benefits of the implications of construction management by the construction team and level of considerations of the techniques and processes during the project development and construction phases to avoid any delay in the projects. It also aims to determine the factors that participate to project completion delays in case project managers are not well committed to their roles and responsibilities. The results of the analysis will determine the necessity of the applications required by the project team to avoid the causes of delays that help them deliver projects on time, e.g. verifying tender documents, quantities and preparing the construction method of the project.