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Supply Chain Optimization

A supply chain (SC) is a network of facilities that performs the functions of raw material procurement, raw material transformation into intermediate and finished products, and distribution of products to customers. In a chemical process supply chain, such as in the petrochemical or pharmaceutical industry, manufacturing is a major component. Supply chain management (SCM) and supply chain optimization (SCO) are concerned with the coordinated optimization of business processes, including strategic network design, purchasing, production, transportation and distribution in order to bring greater net value to the customer, at minimum overall cost. Supply chain performance, as determined by metrics such as operational cost, product lead-time, and flexibility, is dependent on both the supply chain design and operating strategy. In our research, we consider both dimensions. We are developing robust model predictive control (MPC) strategies for SCM that incorporate demand and process uncertainty within the control move calculations, and also accommodate discrete decisions. In SC design, we are developing an optimization-based methodology for assessing the dynamic operability of process SC systems, with a goal toward a comprehensive framework for the design of flexible and responsive SC systems.

Dr. Chris L. E. Swartz
Professor and Director, MACC
Dr. Thomas E. Marlin
Professor Emeritus
Supply chain optimization of flare-gas-to-butanol processes in Alberta
Canadian J Chem Eng, 94 (12) 2336-2354 (2016)  -  [ Publisher Version | Open Access Version (free) ]
Flexibility analysis of process supply chain networks
Computers & Chemical Engineering, 84 409421 (2016)  -  [ Publisher Version ]
Robust decision making for hybrid process supply chain systems via model predictive control
Computers & Chemical Engineering, 62 (5) 37-55 (2014)  -  [ Publisher Version ]
Dynamic operability analysis of process supply chains for forest industry transformation
Ind Eng Chem Res, 53 9825-9840 (2014)  -  [ Publisher Version ]