Articles

Open Pit Optimization for Short-term Forecasting Using Mining Simulator


Simulation modelling has long been used as a decision support tool in the mining industry. This is typically done to address issues on the strategic time horizon, with a heavy focus on experimentation and sensitivity analysis. These issues include mining equipment selection, pit optimization, design and operation of the mine-plant interface, testing the robustness of a mine plan and blending.

Mining simulators can be used to forecast production in the short term to test the quality of truck dispatch decisions (allocation of trucks to loaders) and evaluate the value of alternate scheduling rules. It can also be used to produce a forecast of the likelihood of achieving a shift target and allow operators to test what-if options to reduce the risk of production loss or reduce costs by putting excess equipment on standby. Being able to make these decisions with confidence helps to drive improvements in operations efficiency.

Strategic Supply Chain Design for an Austrian Winter Road Service Provider


Snowplow operations are critical for public safety and economic success in countries where difficult driving conditions occur in winter. Specifically, the salt supply ensuring good driving conditions is a crucial factor. In this paper, the strategic supply chain design of a winter service provider in Austria is investigated. Two research directions on the influence of bigger and fewer salt silos per depot and the logistic costs for a unique summer salt purchasing strategy are addressed applying two independent solution approaches. On the same data basis, a simulation model is developed and a mixed integer linear problem is applied to answer the respective research questions.

How Order Placement Influences Resource Allocation and Order Processing Times Inside a Multi-user Warehouse


This paper focuses on the influence of different order placement behavior of users on the allocation of common resources inside a multi-user warehouse. Furthermore, the interdependencies between one user’s resource usage on other users’ order processing time is investigated. For this objective, an agent-based simulation model has been developed, depicting a rectangular warehouse with two users and one order picker. Results show that different order placement behavior and resource usage of one user have a strong influence on order processing times of other users. Furthermore, by simulating uneven order placement by one user, it can be shown that peaks in order demand influence other user’s order processing times with a delay of up to two hours after the peak occurred. Thus, the results highlight the need for coordinated order placement of partners inside a multi-user warehouse.

Rail Fleet Maintenance Optimization at the UK Rail Network


This paper presents a joint simulation project in the area of railway fleet maintenance optimization. A simulation model was developed to understand and visualize the complex interaction in a railway system comprising rolling stock, depots, and maintenance guidelines. In many cases, requirements on such a system come from different sides, such as fleet operation (timetables and availability), maintenance engineering (maintenance regime), and depot management (depot restrictions). The paper describes the domain-specific challenge, the model for planned maintenance optimization, the implemented scheduling algorithm, and resulting insights. It, furthermore, describes how the model can be used for a variety of different use cases all along a railway project: from sizing to forecast and performance analysis and from initial tender theory check to operational risk analysis and preventive maintenance optimization. Two real-world use cases are presented: West Coast Main Line and TransPennine Express, both in the United Kingdom.

Multi-fidelity Simulation Optimisation for Airline Disruption Management


The airline industry faces many causes of disruption. To minimise financial and reputational impact, the airline must adapt its schedules. Due to the complexity of the environment, simulation is a natural modelling approach. However, the large solution space, time constraints and system constraints make the search for revised schedules difficult. This paper presents a method for the aircraft recovery problem that uses multi-fidelity modelling including a trust region simulation optimisation algorithm to mitigate the computational costs of using high-fidelity simulations with its benefits for providing good estimates of the true performance.

An Agent-based Simulation Framework for Supply Chain Disruptions and Facility Fortification


Fortifying facilities within a supply chain network can mitigate facility failures caused by disruptions. In this study we build an agent-based simulation model to study the r-interdiction median problem with fortification (RIMF), considering two types of facility disruptions: naturally-caused and human-caused disruptions. The objective of this study is to develop a simulation model that analyzes facility disruption and fortification as a repeated Stackelberg competition, where fortification decisions are made anticipating disruptions.

Simulation testbed for the analysis of beneficial business strategies for the airbus A350 production ramp-up


The production ramp-up of new aircraft is characterized by high complexity and planning and control chal-lenges caused by complex product design, supply chain and production processes. In the past, this resulted in significant delays and increased costs of the production ramp-up. Novel business strategies and planning and scheduling technologies promise better production control and risk mitigation during the ramp-up phase. The European research project ARUM has developed those business strategies and a new distributed decision support solution based on knowledge processing technologies. A simulation testbed was used to identify the most beneficial business strategies and to evaluate linked control strategies for the industrial use case of the Airbus A350 production ramp-up. This paper discusses the potential of simulations for the business strategy definition and for the validation of linked control strategies from the industrial end-user perspective.

A discrete event simulation model of the Viennese subway system for decision support and strategic planning


In this paper, we present a discrete event simulation model of the Viennese subway network with capacity constraints and time-dependent demand. Demand, passenger transfer and travel times as well as vehicle travel and turning maneuver times are stochastic. Capacity restrictions apply to the number of waiting passengers on a platform and within a vehicle. Passenger generation is a time-dependent Poisson process which uses hourly origin-destination-matrices based on mobile phone data. A statistical analysis of vehicle data revealed that vehicle inter-station travel times are not time- but direction-dependent. The purpose of this model is to support strategic decision making by performing what-if-scenarios to gain managerial insights. Such decisions involve how many vehicles may be needed to achieve certain headways and what are the consequences. There are trade-offs between customer satisfaction (e.g. travel time) and the transportation system provider’s view (e.g. mileage). First results allow for a bottleneck and a sensitivity analysis.

Dynamic Recovery Policies for Time-Critical Supply Chains under Conditions of Ripple Effect


We consider time critical supply chains in the Australia dairy industry and re-covery policies in the presence of the ripple effect. Ripple effect is the impact of a dis-ruption on supply chain economic performance and disruption-based scope of changes needed in the supply structures and parameters to preserve the resilience. First, we de-scribe the ripple effect in general and one example of the ripple effect in the dairy supply chain in Australia. Second, we present a model for reactive recovery policies in the dairy supply chain under conditions of the ripple effect and exemplify them on a simulation example. The results of this study can be used in future for comparing proactive and re-active approaches to tackling the ripple effect from resilience and flexibility views.

Strategic Planning of Logistics for Offshore Arctic Drilling Platforms Supported by Simulation


The operation of offshore drilling platforms requires a lot of logistics: supply of platforms by platform supply vessels (PSVs), backward transportation of waste in containers and transportation of oil by tankers to export ports. The severe weather conditions of the Arctic Ocean increase the number of possible disruptions that influence the logistic system. The operation of PSVs and tankers has multiple constraints and interactions. An agent-based simulation has been developed in AnyLogic to support the strategic planning of logistics by year 2042. The presentation discusses the use of the model to determine the required number of vessels and compare different options of crude oil outbound logistic network design.

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