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On Stability Analysis and Parametric Design of Supply Networks Under the Presence of Transportation Delays

[+] Author Affiliations
Rifat Sipahi

Northwestern University

Stefan Lammer, Dirk Helbing

Dresden University of Technology

Silviu-Iulian Niculescu

Université de Technologie de Compiègne

Paper No. IMECE2006-14782, pp. 135-144; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2006-14782
From:
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Manufacturing Engineering and Textile Engineering
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Manufacturing Engineering Division and Textile Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4774-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME

abstract

Management of interconnected manufacturing units, supply networks, constitutes a timely, but challenging problem in Physics, Operations Research and Mathematics, as it carries very rich dynamics. At the first stage, a very well understanding of the underlying mechanisms and interactions within the hierarchical construct of such networks is required. For this pursuit, a more realistic approach is proposed in this paper, which takes into account the presence of naturally existing transportation delays of supplies in between individual production units. In general, the presence of delays in the dynamics imports another source of instability, which needs to be addressed. However, it is well-known that a thorough stability analysis against delays carries complications, thus it is non-trivial. We present analytical techniques to tackle such difficulties, surfacing allowable transportation delays within the supply network that guarantees stable stock levels. This, in parallel, enables the selection of production rates assuring the supply network to operate in a stable regime. Moreover, we show that under certain parametric settings, the supply network dynamics may become highly sensitive against the presence of delays, which in turn, initiates an undesirable phenomenon called bullwhip effect. We present case studies demonstrating the bullwhip effect and suggesting parametric selections to avoid this undesired behavior within supply networks.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME

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