August 6, 2010

Helping Green Belts Use What They Know – CDP09-GRN

This project seeks to extend and generalize the computer based system we developed for SPAWAR that assisted Green Belts in working through a LSS project and that provide a way for PM's to communicate project scope and details as well as check the project status. The first objective is accomplished by developing and coding a logic tree that has a series of questions, tasks and suggestions for the Green Belt. This leads the Green Belt through a progression of data collection and analysis tasks that follows the DMAIC process. The system is not prescriptive in the sense of providing the correct answer; rather, it "requires" Green Belts to perform certain functions for all projects like developing a process flow diagram and value stream map but only "suggests" possible tools based on answers to the questions. The Green Belt still has to think and decide - we just attempt to ensure that he or she has collected the right information to make the decision and limit the possible answers to those that are most likely applicable. The second objective is accomplished by providing PM's a standard format within the system to communicate problem details to the Green Belt. Project status is automatically recorded by the Green Belt as he or she performs tasks and answers and both the Green Belt and PM have access to the progress summary. This research will expand this system in several ways. There will be more tools contained in the system's repertoire. This means that the underlying logic that directs the Green Belt must be expanded and refined. In addition, the type of information and how it is presented to the Green Belt will be improved and expanded. Of high importance to the research team is a more thorough field testing process with (hopefully) several CELDi industry members so that both the Green Belt tool identification process and the PM monitoring process can be improved. If time remains, we will try to help the PM determine an appropriate measurement that will track sustainability of improvements through time. Ideally, the system would automatically prompt the appropriate person when it is time to input and measurement and display a simply chart to facilitate assessment.
February 18, 2010

Allocation of Bulk Tanks to Customer Sites – VT09-AIRL

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the preferred size of tanks to allocate to customer sites (and also at production facilities and intermediate distribution centers) with the objective of minimizing distribution costs and investment costs in tanks.
November 14, 2009

Optimization of Dynamic Trip Planning Problem – VT09-INNV

The focus of this project is dynamically determining routes of shipments for tactical level decision support for railroads. The objective is to determine an approach to effectively route shipments on trains such that total distance and travel time is minimum while honoring capacity constraints on trains.