19 December 2008

Call for papers: Integrated Manufacturing and Service Systems

Call for papers: Integrated Manufacturing and Service Systems

A special issue of International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Integrated manufacturing and service systems refer to the network of manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, distributors and other service providers who are organised to enable information flow critical to the movement of materials and/or services through the supply chain, and effective coordination of activities to address various stages of the product life cycle.

Increasingly, products are being offered as a service that must be provided over certain duration, at a pre-specified quality, price and level. Typical examples of such services include leasing of photo-copying machines, and service arrangements between airlines and engine manufacturers. Manufacturers provide such products as part of a service package, where they are responsible for maintaining the product during its contracted period.

The delivery of a service, and not just a product, requires that the supply chain behind it be designed and operated to deliver products initially, maintain them, accept returns, refurbish and deliver again the same service over and over again. The refurbished products also need to be taken out of the supply chain once they reach the end-of-life and/or are replaced by newer generations.

Design and operation of such integrated supply chains requires the development of methodologies and frameworks to support delivery of integrated products and services. Some of the interesting issues that such integrated supply chains throw up include:
  1. Pricing of services that are offered,
  2. Design and operation of service networks to support these services,
  3. Management of product and spare parts inventory, considering the product life cycles, and
  4. Design of products for refurbishability.
Competitive pricing of services would help the development of such models; service networks, on the other hand, need to be designed to support both the forward and reverse flow of components and end-products. Inventory management in these integrated supply chains has its own challenges, dealing as it does not only with new products/components but also refurbished ones. Finally, product life cycles have a great impact on the operation of these integrated supply chains, as does the design for refurbishability.

The effort towards integrated supply chains is also driven by increasing environmental concerns, as well as the economic opportunities inherent in the reuse (of components) and refurbishment of products. Going forward, such imperatives would take a more central stage in the design and operation of supply chains, creating new avenues for researchers and practitioners in the field.

Papers in this special issue will consider, but are not limited to, the following issues in integrated manufacturing and service systems:
  • Modeling and design of supply networks that facilitate both forward and reverse flow of products and services
  • Modeling tools to support the analysis and development of strategies in design and manufacturing for disassembly, recycling and refurbishment
  • Consideration of product life-cycles in design and operation of supply chains
  • Inventory management in supply chains that support both products and services
  • Co-ordination mechanisms and techniques, protocols as well as tools for improving co-ordination between distributed members of supply chains
  • Life cycle analysis of different value chains to minimize the use of materials and waste
  • Development of appropriate performance measures for new manufacturing paradigms
Important Dates
Abstracts and proposals (max 1500 words) by: 21 March, 2009
Final drafts of accepted papers by: 31 July 2009

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