Even though we have moved beyond the Industrial Age and into the Information Age, manufacturing and logistics remain an important part of the global economy. Manufacturing and logistics systems are typically very large and dynamic systems that can have a wide variety of complex interactions. Modelling and simulation tools have been widely used in the design of these systems, as well as to help validate manufacturing and logistics plans as they are developed.
However, modelling and simulation tools have not generally been used to help control the actual operation of such manufacturing and logistics systems, although considerable efforts are being devoted to developing sensor suites to monitor system performance and decision planning aids to support rapid re-planning. Although simulation of manufacturing and logistics systems has a long-lasting tradition in industry, it has always been difficult to establish the methodology there.
There is a need for pervasive use of modelling and simulation for decision support in current and future manufacturing and logistics systems, and several significant challenges need to be addressed by the simulation community to realise this vision. Firstly, an order of magnitude reduction in problem-solving cycles is needed. The second challenge is the development of real-time, simulation-based problem-solving capability. The third challenge is the need for true plug-and-play interoperability of simulations and supporting software. Finally there is the biggest challenge facing modelling and simulation analysts today: that of convincing management to sponsor modelling and simulation projects instead of, or in addition to, more commonly used manufacturing and logistics system design and improvement methods such as lean manufacturing and six sigma.
The main objective of this special issue focuses on the application of simulation and optimisation in solving various issues in manufacturing systems and supply chains.
The issue is primarily intended for revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers from the Second International Conference on Simulation, Modeling and Analysis (COSMA 2011), taking place on 14-16 December 2011, jointly organised by Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore - 641112, TamilNadu, India and the National Institute of Technology Calicut, NIT Campus, Calicut - 673601, Kerala, India. However, we also encourage other researchers to submit their manuscripts for this special issue.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Simulation processes for manufacturing systems analysis
- Synchronised factory models in manufacturing systems
- Real-time simulation-based problem solving models in manufacturing systems
- Interoperability of simulations in manufacturing systems
- Object-oriented simulation in manufacturing systems
- Simulation-based scheduling and control in manufacturing systems
- Algorithms and techniques to support computer-aided design and optimisation of complex manufacturing systems
- Models of computation, specification languages, real-time systems, synthesis and compilation for manufacturing systems
- Models of manufacturing systems together with analysis techniques that identify design flaws, performance problems and vulnerabilities.
- Strategies and concepts for logistics
- Technical and organisational planning of logistics systems
- Supply chains and logistics network design
- Physical distribution and facility location
- Distribution centres and warehousing decisions
- Outbound and inbound logistics
- Transportation management and logistics
- Information management in logistics systems
- Traffic flows demand, control and performance
- Multi-modal systems
- Reverse and green logistics
Manuscript submission: 1 February, 2012
Notification of initial decision: 1 March, 2012
Submission of revised manuscript: 1 April, 2012
Notification of final acceptance: 1 May, 2012
Submission of final revised paper: 1 June, 2012