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Professorship of Factory Planning and Intralogistics

Research Projects

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Research grant - Individual application DFG

Capacity Oriented Material Management (CORMA): An Assessment and Extension

Duration: 36 months

Contents: Manufacturing Control, Order Generation, Order Release, Capacity Control, Simulation

Overview and project objectives

To improve productivity, the flow of material and capacity needs to be better synchronized with demand. This synchronization is complicated by the increasing need for customized products that are more complex to manage than the make-to-stock (MTS) products that characterized the previous decades, and by ever more volatile markets and bridle supply chains. Achieving this synchronization is the objective of manufacturing control, which comprises four tasks: order generation, order release, sequencing, and capacity control. Most literature focusses on one of these tasks and on methods that are either suitable for make-to-order (MTO) or MTS.

One manufacturing control system that integrates different manufacturing control tasks, and that is designed for hybrid MTO/MTS contexts, is Capacity Oriented Material Management (CORMA). However, despite its promise, CORMA remains ill defined, its performance has never been assessed, and it neglects capacity control. This project has three aims, to assess how CORMA principles can improve manufacturing control, to operationalize CORMA and to improve CORMA.

Contents and methods

It assesses the performance of reorder point using different methods to determine safety stock levels, considering CORMA, and integrating Synchro MRP. It integrates work-in-process regulating and workload balancing release method into CORMA and assess its performance impact. It extends CORMA sequencing, which focusses on MTS, by sequencing suitable for MTO. It assesses the impact of capacity control on CORMA, and it develops a new CORMA capacity control method that follows CORMA?s control logic. Using a multi-method approach that combines discrete event simulation and conceptual-empirical research into a theory-practice iterative research cycle. This project contributes to all four manufacturing control tasks. It develops a reorder point system for order generation that allows for early releases if capacity is not utilized whilst avoiding congestion. It introduces a release method driven by actual customer requirements that allows for MTS and MTO products. It introduces a new sequencing procedure, probability scheduling, that focusses on the net requirements and the demand rate, instead of replenishment times, and which is suitable for hybrid MTO/MTS contexts. It integrates the CORMA principle into capacity control. Assessing the performance of all four manufacturing control tasks simultaneously, this project also provides important guidance for future manufacturing control system design.