Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 39602

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Study on Residual Stress Measurement of Inconel-718 under Different Lubricating Conditions
When machining is carried out on a workpiece, residual stresses are induced in the workpiece due to nonuniform thermal and mechanical loads. These stresses play a vital role in the surface integrity of the final product or the output. Inconel 718 is commonly used in critical structural components of aircraft engines due to its properties at high temperatures. Therefore it is important to keep down the stresses induced due to machining. This can be achieved through proper lubricating conditions. In this work, experiments were carried out to check the influence of the developed nanofluid as cutting fluids on residual stresses developed during the course of machining. The results of MQL/Nanofluids were compared with MQL/Vegetable oil and dry machining lubricating condition. Results indicate the reduction in residual stress with the use of MQL/Nanofluid.
Non-Population Search Metaheuristic Algorithms for Capacitated MRP in Multi-Stage Assembly Flow Shop with Alternative Machines
This paper aims to propose non-population search algorithms called tabu search (TS), simulated annealing (SA) and variable neighborhood search (VNS) to minimize the total cost of capacitated MRP problem. It is intently developed for the industrial scale multi-stage assembly flow shop with two alternative machines. There are three main steps for the proposed algorithm. Firstly, an initial sequence of orders is constructed by a simple due date-based dispatching rule. Secondly, the sequence of orders is repeatedly improved to reduce the total cost by applying TS, SA, and VNS separately. Finally, the total cost is further reduced by optimizing the start time of each operation using the LP model. Parameters of the proposed algorithm are tuned by using real automotive companies. The result shows that VNS significantly outperforms TS, SA and the existing algorithm. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm can be applied to various industrial situations.
A Simulation-Based Approach to Investigate the Procurement Process and Its Effect on the Performance of Supply Chains
Influenced by the high dynamic of the markets and the steadily increasing demand for short delivery times the optimization of supply chains gains more importance. The procurement process plays a central role in achieving short delivery times and thus has to constantly evaluate the trade-off between high inventory and the risk of stock-outs. However, analyzing different procurement strategies and the influence of various production parameters is difficult to achieve in industrial practice. Therefore, simulations of supply chains are used in order to improve processes in the whole value chain. The objective of this research is to evaluate different procurement strategies (t,q, t,S, s,q and s,S) in a four-stage supply chain. In order to measure the performance of the supply chain and comparing different procurement strategies cost factors (e.g. for late deliveries) and the quantity of the backlog will be considered. A scenario analysis of different customer demands is supposed to enhance the significance of the simulation results.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in E-Procurement: A Case Study of Agricultural Company in Vietnam
This paper provides some insight information about a current situation of e-procurement implementation in Vietnam, including opportunities and challenges. A case study of Phuc Thien Company which is classified as a medium enterprise in the country, specialising on animal feed production. Since the technological development rapidly changes, companies have implemented advanced technologies in supply chain management to increase efficiency and gain collaboration amidst partners in their manufacturing and development activities. The findings of this research reveal strengths and ongoing weaknesses when Phuc Thien company internally implemented eProcurement system. Although cost savings, visibility of payment and speedy procurement process are one of the largest benefits of eProcurement implementation, the company faces greater hurdles, such as employee capability to use technology and their resistance to change, that overshadow everything else. In terms of governmental policy, the adaptation of e-invoicing has commenced since June 2015 in Vietnam, legal regulations and administrative framework related to e-Procurement carries various ambiguous in its content and extremely fragment. Hence, this adds a great burden to enterprises in general and Phuc Thien in particular in view of creating higher competitive advantage for animal feed industry in Vietnam as well as South East Asia region.
Multi-Criteria Evaluation for the Selection Process of a Wind Power Plant's Location Using Choquet Integral
The objective of the present study is to select the most suitable location for a wind power plant station through Choquet integral method. The problem of selecting the location for a wind power station was considered as a multi-criteria decision-making problem. The essential and sub-criteria were specified and location selection was expressed in a hierarchic structure. Among the main criteria taken into account in this paper are wind potential, technical factors, social factors, transportation, and costs. The problem was solved by using different approaches of Choquet integral and the best location for a wind power station was determined. Then, the priority weights obtained from different Choquet integral approaches are compared and commented on.
Environmental Performance Improvement of Additive Manufacturing Processes with Part Quality Point of View
Life cycle assessment of additive manufacturing processes has evolved significantly since these past years. A lot of existing studies mainly focused on energy consumption. Nowadays, new methodologies of life cycle inventory acquisition came through the literature and help manufacturers to take into account all the input and output flows during the manufacturing step of the life cycle of products. Indeed, the environmental analysis of the phenomena that occur during the manufacturing step of additive manufacturing processes is going to be well known. Now it becomes possible to count and measure accurately all the inventory data during the manufacturing step. Optimization of the environmental performances of processes can now be considered. Environmental performance improvement can be made by varying process parameters. However, a lot of these parameters (such as manufacturing speed, the power of the energy source, quantity of support materials) affect directly the mechanical properties, surface finish and the dimensional accuracy of a functional part. This study aims to improve the environmental performance of an additive manufacturing process without deterioration of the part quality. For that purpose, the authors have developed a generic method that has been applied on multiple parts made by additive manufacturing processes. First, a complete analysis of the process parameters is made in order to identify which parameters affect only the environmental performances of the process. Then, multiple parts are manufactured by varying the identified parameters. The aim of the second step is to find the optimum value of the parameters that decrease significantly the environmental impact of the process and keep the part quality as desired. Finally, a comparison between the part made by initials parameters and changed parameters is made. In this study, the major finding claims by authors is to reduce the environmental impact of an additive manufacturing process while respecting the three quality criterion of parts, mechanical properties, dimensional accuracy and surface roughness. Now that additive manufacturing processes can be seen as mature from a technical point of view, environmental improvement of these processes can be considered while respecting the part properties. The first part of this study presents the methodology applied to multiple academic parts. Then, the validity of the methodology is demonstrated on functional parts.
Technology Planning with Internal and External Resource for Open Innovation
Technology planning with both internal capacity and external resource is necessary for successful open innovation. Until now, many types of research have been conducted for this issue. However, technology planning for open innovation at the national level has not been researched sufficiently. This study proposes Open roadmap for open innovation at the national level. The proposed open roadmap can manage the inflow & outflow open innovation systematically. Six types of open roadmap are classified with respect to the innovation direction and characteristics. The proposed open roadmap is applied to the open innovation cases of the Roman period. The proposed open roadmap is expected to be helpful tool for technology policy planning at the national level.
Sustainable Approach to Fabricate Titanium Nitride Film on Steel Substrate by Using Automotive Plastics Waste
Automotive plastics waste (widely known as auto-fluff or ASR) is a complicated mixture of various plastics incorporated with a wide range of additives and fillers like titanium dioxide, magnesium oxide, and silicon dioxide. Automotive plastics waste is difficult to recycle and its landfilling poses the significant threat to the environment. In this study, a sustainable technology to fabricate protective nanoscale TiN thin film on a steel substrate surface by using automotive waste plastics as titanium and carbon resources is suggested. When heated automotive plastics waste with steel at elevated temperature in a nitrogen atmosphere, titanium dioxide contented in ASR undergo carbothermal reduction and nitridation reactions on the surface of the steel substrate forming a nanoscale thin film of titanium nitride on the steel surface. The synthesis of TiN film on steel substrate under this technology was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, high resolution X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscope, a high resolution transmission electron microscope fitted with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry techniques. This sustainably fabricated TiN film was verified of dense, well crystallized and could provide good oxidation resistance to the steel substrate. This sustainable fabrication technology is maneuverable, reproducible and of great economic and environmental benefit. It not only reduces the fabrication cost of TiN coating on steel surface, but also provides a sustainable environmental solution to recycling automotive plastics waste. Moreover, high value copper droplets and char residues were also extracted from this unique fabrication process.
The Evolving Customer Experience Management Landscape: A Case Study on the Paper Machine Companies
Customer experience is increasingly the differentiator between successful companies and those who struggle. Currently, customer experiences become more dynamic; and they advance with each interaction between the company and a customer. Every customer conversation, and any effort to evolve these conversations would be beneficial and should ultimately result in a positive customer experience. The aim of this paper is to analyze the evolving customer experience management landscape and the relevant challenges and opportunities. A case study on the “paper machine” companies is chosen. Correspondingly, the evolving customer management requirements in the “Road to Steel” which shows the journey of steel from raw material to end product (paper machine) is analyzed. Two Finnish paper machine companies, Ruukki and Metso, are chosen and their efforts to evolve the customer experiences are investigated. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with experts in those companies to identify the challenges and opportunities of the evolving customer experience management from their point of view. The findings of this paper contribute to the theory and business practices in the realm of the evolving customer experience management landscape.
An Endophyte of Amphipterygium adstringens as Producer of Cytotoxic Compounds
A bioassay-guided study for anti-cancer compounds from endophytes of the Mexican medicinal plant Amphipteryygium adstringens resulted in the isolation of a streptomycete capable of producing a group of compounds with high cytotoxic activity. Microorganisms from surface sterilized samples of various sections of the plant were isolated and all the actinomycetes found were evaluated for their potential to produce compounds with cytotoxic activity against cancer cell lines MCF7 (breast cancer) and HeLa (cervical cancer) as well as the non-tumoural cell line HaCaT (keratinocyte). The most active microorganism was picked for further evaluation. The identification of the microorganism was carried out by 16S rDNA gene sequencing, finding the closest proximity to Streptomyces scabrisporus, but with the additional characteristic that the strain isolated in this study was capable of producing colorful compounds never described for this species. Crude extracts of dichloromethane and ethyl acetate showed IC50 values of 0.29 and 0.96 μg/mL for MCF7, 0.51 and 1.98 μg/mL for HeLa and 0.96 and 2.7 μg/mL for HaCaT. Scaling the fermentation to 10 L in a bioreactor generated 1 g of total crude extract, which was fractionated by silica gel open column to yield 14 fractions. Nine of the fractions showed cytotoxic activity. Fraction 4 was chosen for subsequent purification because of its high activity against cancerous cell lines, lower activity against keratinocytes. HPLC-UV-MS/ESI was used for the evaluation of this fraction, finding at least 10 different compounds with high values of m/z (≈588). Purification of the compounds was carried out by preparative thin-layer chromatography. The prevalent compound was Steffimycin B, a molecule known for its antibiotic and cytotoxic activities and also for its low solubility in aqueous solutions. Along with steffimycin B, another five compounds belonging to the steffimycin family were isolated and at this moment their structures are being elucidated, some of which display better solubility in water: an attractive property for the pharmaceutical industry. As a conclusion to this study, the isolation of endophytes resulted in the discovery of a strain capable of producing compounds with high cytotoxic activity that need to be studied for their possible utilization.
Long Term Love Relationships Analyzed as a Dynamic System with Random Variations
In this work, we model a coupled system where we explore the effects of steady and random behavior on a linear system like an extension of the classic Strogatz model. This is exemplified by modeling a couple love dynamics as a linear system of two coupled differential equations and studying its stability for four types of lovers chosen as CC='Cautious- Cautious', OO='Only other feelings', OP='Opposites' and RR='Romeo the Robot'. We explore the effects of, first, introducing saturation, and second, adding a random variation to one of the CC-type lover, which will shape his character by trying to model how its variability influences the dynamics between love and hate in couple in a long run relationship. This work could also be useful to model other kind of systems where interactions can be modeled as linear systems with external or internal random influence. We found the final results are not easy to predict and a strong dependence on initial conditions appear, which a signature of chaos.
Application of Powder Metallurgy Technologies for Gas Turbine Engine Wheel Production
A detailed analysis has been performed for several schemes of Gas Turbine Wheels production based on additive and powder technologies, including metal, ceramic, and stereolithography 3-d printing. During the process of development and debugging of gas turbine engine components different versions of these components must be manufactured and tested. Among of these components are cooled blades of the turbine. They are usually produced by traditional casting methods. This method requires long and costly design and manufacture of casting molds. Moreover, traditional manufacturing methods limit the design possibilities of complex critical parts of engine, so capabilities of Powder Metallurgy Techniques (PMT) were analyzed to manufacture turbine wheel with air-cooled blades. PMT dramatically reduce time needed for such production and allow creating new complex design solutions aimed at improving the technical characteristics of the engine: improving fuel efficiency and environmental performance, increasing reliability and reducing weight. To accelerate and simplify the blades manufacturing process several options based on additive technologies were used. The options were implemented in the form of various casting equipment for the manufacturing of blades. Methods of powder metallurgy were applied for connecting the blades with the disc. The optimal production scheme and a set of technologies for the manufacturing of blades and turbine wheel and other parts of the engine can be selected on the basis of the options considered.
Optimal Decisions for Personalized Products with Demand Information Updating and Limited Capacity
Product personalization could not only bring new profits to companies but also provide the direction of long-term development for companies. However, the characteristics of personalized product cause some new problems. This paper investigates how companies make decisions on the supply of personalized products when facing different customer attitudes to personalized product and service, constraints due to limited capacity and updates of personalized demand information. This study will provide optimal decisions for companies to develop personalized markets, resulting in promoting business transformation and improving business competitiveness.
Multi-Period Supply Chain Design under Uncertainty
In this research, a stochastic programming approach is developed for designing supply chains with uncertain parameters. Demands and selling prices of products at markets are considered as the uncertain parameters. The proposed mathematical model will be multi-period two-stage stochastic programming, which takes into account the selection of retailer sites, suppliers, production levels, inventory levels, transportation modes to be used for shipping goods, and shipping quantities among the entities of the supply chain network. The objective function is to maximize the chain’s net present value. In order to maximize the chain’s NPV, the sum of first-stage investment costs on retailers, and the expected second-stage processing, inventory-holding and transportation costs should be kept as low as possible over multiple periods. The effects of supply uncertainty where suppliers are unreliable will also be investigated on the efficiency of the supply chain.
Assessment of Lean in Construction Industry of United Arab Emirates
The rapid pace of changes in the construction industry, technological advancements, and rising costs present tremendous challenges for project managers. Project managers are under severe pressure to minimize the waste, improve the efficiency of the entire operations and the philosophy of ‘lean thinking’ so that ‘more could be achieved with less’ is becoming very popular. Though lean management has strong roots in manufacturing industry and over the last decade lean philosophy has started gaining attention in the service industry as well. However, little has been known in the context of waste minimization and lean implementation in the construction industry and this paper deals with this important issue. The primary objective of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework for the exploration of appropriate lean techniques applicable to medium and large construction companies and measure their impact on the competitiveness and economic performance of construction companies of United Arab Emirates (UAE). To this end, a comprehensive literate review and interviews with eight project managers of medium and large construction companies of UAE have been conducted. It has been found that competitive, reduce waste and costs are critical to the construction industry. This is an ongoing research in lean management, giving project managers a practical framework for improving the efficiency of their project through various lean techniques Originality/Value – Research significance emphasizes increasing the effectiveness of the construction industry, influences the development of lean construction framework which improves lean construction practices using the lean techniques. This contributes to the effort of applying lean techniques in the construction industry. Limited publications were done in the construction industry mainly in United Arab Emirates (UAE) compared to the lean manufacturing. This research will recommend a systematic approach for the implementing of the anticipated framework within a cyclical look-ahead period and emphasizes the practical implications of the proposed approach.
A Mathematical Model for Reliability Redundancy Optimization Problem of K-Out-Of-N: G System
According to a remarkable development of science and technology, function and role of the system of engineering fields has recently been diversified. The system has become increasingly more complex and precise, and thus, system designers intended to maximize reliability concentrate more effort at the design stage. This study deals with the reliability redundancy optimization problem (RROP) for k-out-of-n: G system configuration with cold standby and warm standby components. This paper further intends to present the optimal mathematical model through which the following three elements of (i) multiple components choices, (ii) redundant components quantity and (iii) the choice of redundancy strategies may be combined in order to maximize the reliability of the system. Therefore, we focus on the following three issues. First, we consider RROP that there exists warm standby state as well as cold standby state of the component. Second, as eliminating an approximation approach of the previous RROP studies, we construct a precise model for system reliability. Third, given transition time when the state of components changes, we present not simply a workable solution but the advanced method. For the wide applicability of RROPs, moreover, we use absorbing continuous time Markov chain and matrix analytic methods in the suggested mathematical model.
Machine Learning Approach for Anomaly Detection in the Simulated Iec-60870-5-104 Traffic.
Substation security plays an important role in the power delivery system. During the past years, there has been an increase in number of attacks on automation networks of the substations. In spite of that, there hasn’t been enough focus dedicated to the protection of such networks. Aiming to design a specialized anomaly detection system based on machine learning, in this paper we will discuss the IEC 60870-5-104 protocol that is used for communication between substation and control station and focus on the simulation of the substation traffic. Firstly, we will simulate the communication between substation slave and server. Secondly, we will compare the system's normal behavior and its behavior under the attack, in order to extract the right features which will be needed for building an anomaly detection system. Lastly, based on the features we will suggest the anomaly detection system for the asynchronous protocol IEC 60870-5-104.
Some Thermodynamics and Kinetics Issues in Microelectronic Three-Dimensional Integrated Circuits Packaging Technology
Integration technology, such as 3D stacking, by reduction of interconnection length, enables a significant increase of the whole device performance. Interconnection using electroplated copper pillars or micro bumps are now essential in this framework and copper and/or nickel are promising under bump metallization studied. 3D interconnects studied in this work are ultra fine 20-50µm pitch structures realized by eutectic bonding of a tin based solder joint. It is well-known that intermetallic compounds (IMCs) grow at the copper or nickel/tin-based alloy interface. Even if this IMC layer evidences a good adhesion, their brittle nature and their high resistivity is detrimental to the interconnects. Thus, the control of the interfacial reactivity between the solder alloys and substrates is extremely important. Moreover, the mechanical behaviour of the joint strongly depends on the solidification structure of the solder bumps. However, during cooling of the liquid solder, very high undercooling degrees are observed and their values strongly increase with the decreasing joint size. Thus, not only metastable phase transformations could occur inside the liquid solder but also the reaction time between the metastable liquid solder and the substrate increases significantly, leading thus to an additional increase in the interfacial intermetallic layers. All these metastable phenomena will be presented and analysed from a thermodynamic and kinetic point of view through several examples of soldering in the Cu/Sn, Cu/Sn-Ag, Cu/Au-Sn and Ni/Sn systems and for different thickness of the joint or different solder bump size. It will be shown that the development of such metastable equilibria and transformations may have a huge impact on the microstructure of the solder joint and consequently on its mechanical properties.
Maximizing Customer Service through Logistics Service Support in the Automobile Industry in Ghana
Business today is highly competitive, and the automobile industry is no exception. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the customer value and service quality measures that lead to customer satisfaction which in turn lead to customer loyalty. However, in the automobile industry, the role of logistics service support in these relationships cannot be undermined. It could be inferred that logistics service supports and its management has a direct correlation with customer service and or service quality. But this is not always the same for all industries. Therefore, this study was to investigate how automobile companies implement the concept of customer service through logistics service supports. In order to ascertain this, two automobile companies in Ghana were selected, and these are Toyota Ghana Limited and Mechanical Lloyd Company Ltd. The study developed a conceptual model to depict the study’s objectives from which questionnaires were developed from for data collection. Respondents were made up of customers and staff of the two companies. The findings of the study revealed that the automobile industry partly attributes their customer satisfaction to the customer value, service quality or customer value. It shows a positive relationship between logistics service supports and service quality and customer value. However, the results indicate that customer satisfaction is not predicted by logistics services. This implies that in the automobile industry, it is not always the case that when customer service is implemented through logistics service supports, it leads to customer satisfaction. Therefore, there is the need for all players and stakeholders in the automobile industry investigate other factors which help to increase customer satisfaction in addition to logistics service supports. It is recommended that logistics service supports should be geared towards meeting customer expectations and not just based on the organization’s standards and procedures. It is necessary to listen to the voice of the customer to tailor the service package to suit the needs and expectations of the customer.
Inter-Personal and Inter-Organizational Relationships in Supply Chain Integration: A Resource Orchestration Perspective
Purpose: The research is to extend resource orchestration theory (ROT) into supply chain management (SCM) area to investigate the dyadic relationships at both individual and organizational levels in supply chain integration (SCI). Also, we try to explore the interaction mechanism between inter-personal relationships (IPRs) and inter-organizational (IORs) during the whole SCI process. Methodology/approach: The research employed an exploratory multiple case study approach of four New Zealand companies. The data was collected via semi-structured interviews with top, middle, and lower level managers and operators from different departments of both suppliers and customers triangulated with company archival data. Findings: The research highlights the important role of both IPRs and IORs in the whole SCI process. Both IPRs and IORs are valuable, inimitable resources but IORs are formal and exterior while IPRs are informal and subordinated. In the initial stage of SCI process, IPRs are seen as key resources antecedents to IOR building while three IPRs dimensions work differently: personal credibility acts as an icebreaker to strengthen the confidence forming IORs, and personal affection acts as a gatekeeper, whilst personal communication expedites the IORs process. In the maintenance and development stage, IORs and IPRs interact each other continuously: good interaction between IPRs and IORs can facilitate SCI process while the bad interaction between IPRs can damage the SCI process. On the other hand, during the life-cycle of SCI process, IPRs can facilitate the formation, development of IORs while IORs development can cultivate the ties of IPRs. Out of the three dimensions of IPRs, Personal communication plays a more important role to develop IORs than personal credibility and personal affection. Originality/value: This research contributes to ROT in supply chain management literature by highlighting the interaction of IPRs and IORs in SCI. The intangible resources and capabilities of three dimensions of IPRs need to be orchestrated and nurtured to achieve efficient and effective IORs in SCI. Also, IPRs and IORs need to be orchestrated in terms of breadth, depth, and life-cycle of whole SCI process. Our study provides further insight into the rarely explored inter-personal level of SCI. Managerial implications: Our research provides top management with further evidence of the significance roles of IPRs at different levels when working with trading partners. This highlights the need to actively manage and develop these soft IPRs skills as an intangible competitive resource. Further, the research identifies when staff with specific skills and connections should be utilized during the different stages of building and maintaining inter-organizational ties. More importantly, top management needs to orchestrate and balance the resources of IPRs and IORs.
Improving the Supply Chain of Vietnamese Coffee in Buon Me Thuot City, Daklak Province, Vietnam to Achieve Sustainability
Agriculture plays an important role in the economy of Vietnam and coffee is one of most crucial agricultural commodities for exporting but the current farming methods and processing infrastructure could not keep up with the development of the sector. There are many catastrophic impacts on the environment such as deforestation; soil degradation that leads to a decrease in the quality of coffee beans. Therefore, improving supply chain to develop the cultivation of sustainable coffee is one of the most important strategies to boost the coffee industry and create a competitive advantage for Vietnamese coffee in the worldwide market. If all stakeholders in the supply chain network unite together; the sustainable production of coffee will be scaled up and the future of coffee industry will be firmly secured. Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province is the principal growing region for Vietnamese coffee which accounted for a third of total coffee area in Vietnam. It plays a strategically crucial role in the development of sustainable Vietnamese coffee. Thus, the research is to improve the supply chain of sustainable Vietnamese coffee production in Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province, Vietnam for the purpose of increasing the yields and export availability as well as helping coffee farmers to be more flexible in an ever-changing market situation. It will help to affirm Vietnamese coffee brand when entering international market; improve the livelihood of farmers and conserve the environment of this area. Besides, after analyzing the data, a logistic regression model is established to explain the relationship between the dependent variable and independent variables to help sustainable coffee organizations forecast the probability of farmer will be having a sustainable certificate with their current situation and help them choose promising candidates to develop sustainable programs. It investigates opinions of local farmers through quantitative surveys. Qualitative interviews are also used to interview local collectors and staff of Trung Nguyen manufacturing company to have an overview of the situation.
Beyond Taguchi's Concept of Quality Loss Function
Dr Genichi Taguchi looked at the quality in a broader term and gave an excellent definition of quality in terms of loss to the society. However, the scope of Taguchi’s definition is limited to the losses imparted by a poor quality product to the customer only and these losses are considered during the useful life of the product. As per Taguchi’s definition, in certain situations these losses can even be zero. In this paper, it has been proposed that the scope of quality of a product shall be further enhanced by considering the losses imparted by a poor quality product to the whole society, due to their associated environmental and safety related factors, and these losses shall be considered over the complete life cycle of the product. Moreover, though these losses can be further minimized with the use of techno-safety interventions but the net losses to the society can never be made zero. This paper proposes an entirely new approach towards defining product quality and is based on Taguchi’s definition of quality.
Generic Data Warehousing Solution for Consumer Electronics Retail Industry
Consumer electronics retailer industry is very dynamic and competitive. Customer purchasing habits vary throughout the year with certain seasonal and trend patterns. Most of the products offered in consumer electronics retail companies have short product life cycles thus new products are introduced frequently. Consumer electronics retailers are facing challenges such as deciding on optimal inventory, choosing a profitable price, introducing new product lines, and satisfying customers. To address these challenges, data warehousing is one of the most popular and effective solutions since it integrates all available data sources into a central corporate data repository and organizes data in such a way that it answers business questions easily and quickly. To design, implement, and deploy a data warehousing solution, it requires a huge commitment in terms of time and money. That is why small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are not willing and don’t have the financial resources to invest in data warehousing project. On the other hand, if they do not invest in data warehousing, it would be difficult to compete in the highly competitive consumer electronics retailer industry. In this paper, we proposed a generic data warehousing solution that can be applied to any consumer electronics retailer company with a minimum configuration which will reduce significantly the time and money needed for design, implementation, and deployment. We adopted inductive approach by first addressing a specific case study and then identifying the business processes, dimensional models, and Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) processes that don’t change in individual consumer electronics retailer companies. A methodology, which is iterative is applied first to identify important business processes that are common to any retailer company. Once the business processes are identified and described formally, essential reporting and analysis requirements are gathered from relevant business managers. After analysing three different dimensional data modeling approaches: simple star, snowflake, and hybrid schemas, dimensional models are proposed which are optimal in answering the reporting and analysis requirements of all identified business processes and which also satisfies the four design objectives: ease of meeting requirements, query performance, future flexibility and load complexity. The proposed dimensional data models are tested by designing, implementing and deploying a data warehousing solution using Microsoft Technologies (SQL Server and SQL Server Integration Services). It is also demonstrated that data prepared using the data warehousing solution are used to generate reports that enhance the productivity of managers and to feed potential forecasting models for estimating consumer demand.
Lean Models Classification: Towards a Holistic View
The purpose of this paper is to propose a classification of Lean models which aims to capture all the concepts related to this approach and thus facilitate its implementation. This classification allows the identification of the most relevant models according to several dimensions. From this perspective, we present a review and an analysis of Lean models literature, and we propose dimensions for the classification of the current proposals while respecting among others the axes of the Lean approach, the maturity of the models as well as their application domains. This classification allowed us to conclude that researchers essentially consider the Lean approach as a toolbox also they design their models to solve problems related to a specific environment. Since Lean approach is no longer intended only for the automotive sector where it was invented, but to all fields (IT, Hospital, ...), we consider that this approach requires a generic model that is capable of being implemented in all areas.
Antifungal Activity of Some Medicinal Plants Used Traditionally for the Treatment of Fungal Infections in Makhado Local Municipality, South Africa
The current study investigates the antifungal properties of crude plant extracts from selected medicinal plant species. Twelve plant species used by the traditional healers and local people to treat fungal infections were selected for further phytochemical analysis and biological assay. The selected plant species were extracted with solvent of various polarities such as acetone, methanol, ethanol, hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and water. Leaf, roots and bark extracts of Maerua juncea Pax, Albuca seineri (Engl & K. Krause) J.C Manning & Goldblatt, Senna italica Mill., Elephantorrhiza elephantina (Burch.) Skeels, Indigofera circinata Benth., Schinus molle L., Asparagus buchananii Bak., were screened for antifungal activity against three animal fungal pathogens (Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans). All plant extracts were active against the tested microorganisms. Acetone, dichloromethane, hexane and ethanol extracts of Senna italica and Elephantorrhiza elephantine had excellent activity against Candida albicans and A. fumigatus with the lowest MIC value of 0.02 mg/ml. Bioautography assay was used to determine the number of antifungal compounds presence in the plant extracts. No active compounds were observed in plant extracts of Indigofera circinnata, Schinus molle and Pentarrhinum insipidum with good antifungal activity against C. albicans and A. fumigatus indicating possible synergism between separated metabolites.
Supplier Selection by Bi-Objectives Mixed Integer Program Approach
In the past, there were a lot of excellent research on the topics related to supplier selection. Because considered factors of supplier selection are complicated and difficult to be quantified, most researchers deal supplier selection issues by qualitative approaches. Compared to qualitative approaches, quantitative approaches are less applicable in the real world. This study tried to apply the quantitative approach to study a supplier selection problem with considering operation cost and delivery reliability. By those factors, this study applies Normalized Normal Constraint Method to solve the dual objectives mixed integer program of the supplier selection problem.
Development of a Remote Testing System for Performance of Gas Leak Detectors
In this study, we developed remote test system to measure gas concentration and response time of combustible instruments. So we manufactured a test jig with consists of a glass flask, a precise camera, and Ethernet. This system extracts numerals from images with gas concentration received through LAN communication by a camera. And then numerical data of gas concentrations and measuring speeds are recorded and graphed. Our test system will be used when inspecting and certificating domestic and international gas detectors.
The Revenue Management Implementation and Its Complexity in the Airline Industry: An Empirical Study on the Egyptian Airline Industry
The airline industry nowadays is becoming a more growing industry facing a severe competition. It is an influential issue in this context to utilize revenue management (RM) concept and practice in order to develop the pricing strategy. There is an unfathomable necessity for RM to assist the airlines and their associates to disparage the cost and recuperate their revenue, which in turn will boost the airline industry performance. The complexity of RM imposes enormous challenges on the airline industry. Several studies have been proposed on the RM adaptation in airlines industry while there is a limited availability of implementing RM and its complexity in the developing countries such as Egypt. This research represents a research schema about the implementation of the RM to the Egyptian airline industry. The research aims at investigating and demonstrating the complexities face implementing RM in the airline industry, up on which the research provides a comprehensive understanding of how to overcome these complexities while adapting RM in the Egyptian airline industry. An empirical study was conducted on the Egyptian airline sector based on a sample of four airlines (Egyptair, Britishair, KLM, and Lufthansa). The empirical study was conducted using a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches. First, in-depth interviews were carried out to analyze the Egyptian airline sector status and the main challenges faced by the airlines. Then, a structured survey on the three different parties of airline industry; airlines, airfreight forwarders, and passengers were conducted in order to investigate the main complexity factors from different parties' points of view. Finally, a focus group was conducted to develop a best practice framework to overcome the complexities faced the RM adaptation in the Egyptian airline industry. The research provides an original contribution to knowledge by creating a framework to overcome the complexities and challenges in adapting RM in the airline industry generally and the Egyptian airline industry particularly. The framework can be used as a RM tool to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Egyptian airline industry performance.
Appraisal of Humanitarian Supply Chain Risks Using Best-Worst Method
In the last decades, increasing in human and natural disaster occurrence had very irreparable effects on human life. Hence, one of the important issues in humanitarian supply chain management is identifying and prioritizing the different risks and finding suitable solutions for encountering them at the time of disaster occurrence. This study is an attempt to provide a comprehensive review of humanitarian supply chain risks in a case study of Tehran Red Crescent Societies. For this purpose, Best-Worst method (BWM) has been used for analyzing the risks of the humanitarian supply chain. 22 risks of the humanitarian supply chain were identified based on the literature and interviews with four experts. According to BWM method, the importance of each risk was calculated. The findings showed that culture contexts, little awareness of people, and poor education system are the most important humanitarian supply chain risks. This research provides a useful guideline for managers so that they can benefit from the results to prioritize their solutions.
Material Supply Mechanisms for Contemporary Assembly Systems
Manufacturing of complex products such as automobiles and computers requires a very large number of parts and sub-assemblies. The design of mechanisms for delivery of these materials to the point of assembly is an important manufacturing system and supply chain challenge. Different approaches to this problem have been evolved for assembly lines designed to make large volumes of standardized products. However, contemporary assembly systems are required to concurrently produce a variety of products using approaches such as mixed model production, and at times even mass customization. In this paper we examine the material supply approaches for variety production in moderate to large volumes. The conventional approach for material delivery to high volume assembly lines is to supply and stock materials line-side. However for certain materials, especially when the same or similar items are used along the line, it is more convenient to supply materials in kits. Kitting becomes more preferable when lines concurrently produce multiple products in mixed model mode, since space requirements could increase as product/ part variety increases. At times such kits may travel along with the product, while in some situations it may be better to have delivery and station-specific kits rather than product-based kits. Further, in some mass customization situations it may even be better to have a single delivery and assembly station, to which an entire kit is delivered for fitment, rather than a normal assembly line. Finally, in low-moderate volume assembly such as in engineered machinery, it may be logistically more economical to gather materials in an order-specific kit prior to launching final assembly. We have studied material supply mechanisms to support assembly systems as observed in case studies of firms with different combinations of volume and variety/ customization. It is found that the appropriate approach tends to be a hybrid between direct line supply and different kitting modes, with the best mix being a function of the manufacturing and supply chain environment, as well as space and handling considerations. In our continuing work we are studying these scenarios further, through the use of descriptive models and progressing towards prescriptive models to help achieve the optimal approach, capturing the trade-offs between inventory, material handling, space, and efficient line supply.