Decision Support System (DSS) for Machine Selection: A Cost Minimization Model
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Within any manufacturing environment, the selection of the production or assembly machines is part of the day to day responsibilities of management. This is especially true when there are multiple types of machines that can be used to perform each assembly or manufacturing process. As a result, it is critical to find the optimal way to select machines when there are multiple related assembly machines available. The objective of this research is to develop and present a model that can provide guidance to management when making machine selection decisions of parallel, non-identical, related electronics assembly machines. A model driven Decision Support System (DSS) is used to solve the problem with the emphasis in optimizing available resources, minimizing production disruption, thus minimizing cost. The variables that affect electronics product costs are considered in detail. The first part of the Decision Support System was developed using Microsoft Excel as an interactive tool. The second part was developed through mathematical modeling with AMPL9 mathematical programming language and the solver CPLEX90 as the optimization tools. The mathematical model minimizes total cost of all products using a similar logic as the shortest processing time (SPT) scheduling rule. This model balances machine workload up to an allowed imbalance factor. The model also considers the impact on the product cost when expediting production. Different scenarios were studied during the sensitivity analysis, including varying the amount of assembled products, the quantity of machines at each assembly process, the imbalance factor, and the coefficient of variation (CV) of the assembly processes. The results show that the higher the CV, the total cost of all products assembled increased due to the complexity of balancing machine workload for a large number of products. Also, when the number of machines increased, given a constant number of products, the total cost of all products assembled increased because it is more difficult to keep the machines balanced. Similar results were obtained when a tighter imbalance factor was used.
Mendez Pinero, Mayra I. (2009). Decision Support System (DSS) for Machine Selection: A Cost Minimization Model. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from