The potato value chain when harnessed can engage numerous youths and aid in the fight against poverty, malnutrition and unemployment. This study seeks to evaluate the level of youth participation in the potato value chain in Nigeria. Specifically, this study will examine the extent of youth participation in potato value chain, analyze the cost, benefits and sustainability of youth participation in the potato value chain, identify the factors that can propel or hinder youth participation in the potato value chain and make recommendations that will result in the increase in youth employment in the potato value chain. This study was conducted in the North Central and South East geopolitical zones of Nigeria. A multi stage sampling procedure was used to select 540 youths from the study areas. Focused group discussions and survey approach was used to elicit the required data. The data were analyzed using statistical and econometric tools. The study revealed that the potato value chain is very profitable.
This paper uses the analytic hierarchy process to study the execution effect of the minimum purchase price of grain in different regions and various grain crops. Firstly, for different regions, five indicators including grain yield, grain sown area, gross agricultural production, grain consumption price index, and disposable income of rural residents were selected to construct an evaluation index system. We collect data of six provinces including Hebei Province, Heilongjiang Province and Shandong Province from 2006 to 2017. Then, the judgment matrix is constructed, and the hierarchical single ordering and consistency test are carried out to determine the scoring standard for the minimum purchase price of grain. The ranking of the execution effect from high to low is: Heilongjiang Province, Shandong Province, Hebei Province, Guizhou Province, Shaanxi Province, and Guangdong Province. Secondly, taking Shandong Province as an example, we collect the relevant data of sown area and yield of cereals, beans, potatoes and other crops from 2006 to 2017. The weight of area and yield index is determined by expert scoring method. And the average sown area and yield of cereals, beans and potatoes in 2006-2017 were calculated, respectively. On this basis, according to the sum of products of weights and mean values, the execution effects of different grain crops are determined. It turns out that among the cereals, the minimum purchase price had the best execution effect on paddy, followed by wheat and finally maize. Moreover, among major categories of crops, cereals perform best, followed by beans and finally potatoes. Lastly, countermeasures are proposed for different regions, various categories of crops, and different crops of the same category.
The main objective of this research is to optimize tensile strength and dimensional accuracy in injection molding processes using Taguchi Parameter Design. An L16 orthogonal array (OA) is used in Taguchi experimental design with five control factors at four levels each and with non-controllable factor vibration. A total of 32 experiments were designed to obtain the optimal parameter setting for the process. The optimal parameters identified for the shrinkage are shot volume, 1.7 cubic inch (A4); mold term temperature, 130 ºF (B1); hold pressure, 3200 Psi (C4); injection speed, 0.61 inch3/sec (D2); and hold time of 14 seconds (E2). The optimal parameters identified for the tensile strength are shot volume, 1.7 cubic inch (A4); mold temperature, 160 ºF (B4); hold pressure, 3100 Psi (C3); injection speed, 0.69 inch3/sec (D4); and hold time of 14 seconds (E2). The Taguchi-based optimization framework was systematically and successfully implemented to obtain an adjusted optimal setting in this research. The mean shrinkage of the confirmation runs is 0.0031%, and the tensile strength value was found to be 3148.1 psi. Both outcomes are far better results from the baseline, and defects have been further reduced in injection molding processes.
Selecting the most suitable welding process usually depends on experiences or common application in similar companies. However, this approach generally ignores many criteria that can be affecting the suitable welding process selection. Therefore, knowledge automation through knowledge-based systems will significantly improve the decision-making process. The aims of this research propose integrated data envelopment analysis (DEA) and fuzzy credibility constrained programming approach for identifying the best welding process for stainless steel storage tank in the food and beverage industry. The proposed approach uses fuzzy concept and credibility measure to deal with uncertain data from experts' judgment. Furthermore, 12 parameters are used to determine the most appropriate welding processes among six competitive welding processes.
In this paper, an interactive in-car interface called HoloDash is presented. It is intended to provide information and infotainment in both autonomous vehicles and ‘connected cars’, vehicles equipped with Internet access via cellular services. The research focuses on the development of interactive avatars for this system and its gesture-based control system. This is a case study for the development of a possible human-centred means of presenting a connected or autonomous vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics through a projected ‘holographic’ infotainment system. This system is termed a Holographic Human Vehicle Interface (HHIV), as it utilises a dashboard projection unit and gesture detection. The research also examines the suitability for gestures in an automotive environment, given that it might be used in both driver-controlled and driverless vehicles. Using Human Centred Design methods, questions were posed to test subjects and preferences discovered in terms of the gesture interface and the user experience for passengers within the vehicle. These affirm the benefits of this mode of visual communication for both connected and driverless cars.
The present research is a paper on the characterization of aluminum alloy-6063 hybrid metal matrix composites using three different reinforcement materials (SiC, red mud, and fly ash) through stir casting method. The red mud was used in solid form, and particle size range varies between 103-150 µm. During this investigation, fly ash is received from Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP), Bathinda. The study has been done by using Taguchi’s L9 orthogonal array by taking fraction wt.% (SiC 5%, 7.5%, and 10% and Red Mud and Fly Ash 2%, 4%, and 6%) as input parameters with their respective levels. The study of the mechanical properties (tensile strength, impact strength, and microhardness) has been done by using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with the help of MINITAB 17 software. It is revealed that silicon carbide is the most significant parameter followed by red mud and fly ash affecting the mechanical properties, respectively. The fractured surface morphology of the composites using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) shows that there is a good mixing of reinforcement particles in the matrix. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was performed to know the presence of the phases of the reinforced material.
In this study, we have proposed a gesture to emotion recognition method using flex sensors mounted on metacarpophalangeal joints. The flex sensors are fixed in a wearable glove. The data from the glove are sent to PC using Wi-Fi. Four gestures: finger pointing, thumbs up, fist open and fist close are performed by five subjects. Each gesture is categorized into sad, happy, and excited class based on the velocity and acceleration of the hand gesture. Seventeen inspectors observed the emotions and hand gestures of the five subjects. The emotional state based on the investigators assessment and acquired movement speed data is compared. Overall, we achieved 77% accurate results. Therefore, the proposed design can be used for emotional state detection applications.
Building an appropriate motion model is crucial for trajectory planning of robots and determines the operational quality directly. An adaptive acceleration and deceleration motion planning based on trigonometric functions for the end-effector of 6-DOF robots in Cartesian coordinate system is proposed in this paper. This method not only achieves the smooth translation motion and rotation motion by constructing a continuous jerk model, but also automatically adjusts the parameters of trigonometric functions according to the variable inputs and the kinematic constraints. The results of computer simulation show that this method is correct and effective to achieve the adaptive motion planning for linear trajectories.
Air Transport links markets and individuals, making regions more competitive and promoting social and economic development. The assessment of social contribution is the key objective of this paper, focusing on the definition of the components of social dimension and welfare metrics in the national scale. According to a top-down approach, the key dimensions that affect the social welfare are presented. Conventional wisdom is to provide estimations on added value to social issues caused by the air transport development and present the methodology framework for measuring the contribution of transport development in social value chain. Greece is the case study of this paper, providing results from the contribution of air transport infrastructures in national welfare. The application key findings are essential for managers and decision makers to support actions and plans towards economic recovery of an economy presenting strong seasonal characteristics (because of tourism) and suffering from recession.
Ethics and responsibility are rapidly becoming a distinguishing feature of organizations. In this paper, we analyze ethics and responsibility in shadow factories in China. We engage ourselves with Bauman’s moral impulse perspective because his idea can contextualize ethics and responsibility. Moral impulse is a feeling of a selfless, infinite and unconditional responsibility towards, and care for, Others. We analyze a case study from a secondary data source because, for such a critical phenomenon as business ethics in shadow factories, collecting primary data is difficult, since they are unregistered factories. We argue that there has not been enough attention given to the ethics and responsibility in shadow factories in China. Our main goal is to demonstrate that, considering the Other, more importantly the employees, in ethical decision-making is a simple instruction beyond the narrow version of ethics by ethical codes and rules.
Entrepreneurship at both individual and organizational level is one of the most driving forces in economic development and leads to growth and competition, job generation and social development. Especially in developing countries, the role of entrepreneurship in economic and social prosperity is more emphasized. But the effect of global economic development on the environment is undeniable, especially in negative ways, and there is a need to rethink current business models and the way entrepreneurs act to introduce new businesses to address and embed environmental issues in order to achieve sustainable development. In this paper, green or sustainable entrepreneurship is addressed in Iran to identify challenges and barriers entrepreneurs in the economic and social sectors face in developing green business solutions. Sustainable or green entrepreneurship has been gaining interest among scholars in recent years and addressing its challenges and barriers need much more attention to fill the gap in the literature and facilitate the way those entrepreneurs are pursuing. This research comprised of two main phases: qualitative and quantitative. At qualitative phase, after a thorough literature review, fuzzy Delphi method is utilized to verify those challenges and barriers by gathering a panel of experts and surveying them. In this phase, several other contextually related factors were added to the list of identified barriers and challenges mentioned in the literature. Then, at the quantitative phase, Interpretive Structural Modeling is applied to construct a network of interactions among those barriers identified at the previous phase. Again, a panel of subject matter experts comprised of academic and industry experts was surveyed. The results of this study can be used by policymakers in both the public and industry sector, to introduce more systematic solutions to eliminate those barriers and help entrepreneurs overcome challenges of sustainable entrepreneurship. It also contributes to the literature as the first research in this type which deals with the barriers of sustainable entrepreneurship and explores their interaction.
With increasing life expectancy in developed countries, the role of home care services is highlighted by both academia and industrial contributors in Home Health Care Supply Chain (HHCSC) companies. The main decisions in such supply chain systems are the location of pharmacies, the allocation of patients to these pharmacies and also the routing and scheduling decisions of nurses to visit their patients. In this study, for the first time, an integrated model is proposed to consist of all preliminary and necessary decisions in these companies, namely, location-allocation-routing model. This model is a type of NP-hard one. Therefore, an Imperialist Competitive Algorithm (ICA) is utilized to solve the model, especially in large sizes. Results confirm the efficiency of the developed model for HHCSC companies as well as the performance of employed ICA.
In the past, the quay crane operations have been well studied. There were a certain number of scheduling algorithms for quay crane operations, but without considering some nuisance factors that might disrupt the quay crane operations. For example, bad grapples make a crane unable to load or unload containers or a sudden strong breeze stops operations temporarily. Although these disruptive conditions randomly occur, they influence the efficiency of quay crane operations. The disruption is not considered in the operational procedures nor is evaluated in advance for its impacts. This study applies simulation and optimization approaches to develop structures of pre-analysis and post-analysis for the Quay Crane Scheduling Problem to deal with disruptive scenarios for quay crane operation. Numerical experiments are used for demonstrations for the validity of the developed approaches.
Over the past decade, the non-elective admissions in the UK have increased significantly. Taking into account limited resources (i.e. beds), the related service managers are obliged to manage their resources effectively due to the non-elective admissions which are mostly admitted to inpatient specialities via A&E departments. Geriatric medicine is one of specialities that have long length of stay for the non-elective admissions. This study aims to develop a discrete event simulation model to understand how possible increases on non-elective demand over the next 12 months affect the bed occupancy rate and to determine required number of beds in a geriatric medicine speciality in a UK hospital. In our validated simulation model, we take into account observed frequency distributions which are derived from a big data covering the period April, 2009 to January, 2013, for the non-elective admission and the length of stay. An experimental analysis, which consists of 16 experiments, is carried out to better understand possible effects of case studies and scenarios related to increase on demand and number of bed. As a result, the speciality does not achieve the target level in the base model although the bed occupancy rate decreases from 125.94% to 96.41% by increasing the number of beds by 30%. In addition, the number of required beds is more than the number of beds considered in the scenario analysis in order to meet the bed requirement. This paper sheds light on bed management for service managers in geriatric medicine specialities.
One challenge faced by procurement decision-maker during the acquisition process is how to compare similar products from different suppliers and allocate orders among different products or services. This work focuses on allocating orders among multiple suppliers considering rebate. The objective function is to minimize the total acquisition cost including purchasing cost and rebate benefit. Rebate benefit is complex and difficult to estimate at the ordering step. Rebate rules vary for different suppliers and usually change over time. In this work, we developed a system to collect the rebate policies, standardized the rebate policies and developed two-stage optimization models for ordering allocation. Rebate policy with multi-tiers is considered in modeling. The discontinuous cost function of rebate benefit is formulated for different scenarios. A piecewise linear function is used to approximate the discontinuous cost function of rebate benefit. And a Mixed Integer Programing (MIP) model is built for order allocation problem with multi-tier rebate. A case study is presented and it shows that our optimization model can reduce the total acquisition cost by considering rebate rules.
This paper critically examines the evolution of socio-technical systems theory, its practices, and challenges in system design and development. It examines concepts put forward by researchers focusing on the application of the theory in software engineering. There are various methods developed that use socio-technical concepts based on systems engineering without remarkable success. The main constraint is the large amount of data and inefficient techniques used in the application of the concepts in system engineering for developing time-bound systems and within a limited/controlled budget. This paper critically examines each of the methods, highlight bottlenecks and suggest the way forward. Since socio-technical systems theory only explains what to do, but not how doing it, hence engineers are not using the concept to save time, costs and reduce risks associated with new frameworks. Hence, a new framework, which can be considered as a practical approach is proposed that borrows concepts from soft systems method, agile systems development and object-oriented analysis and design to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The approach will enable the development of systems using socio-technical systems theory to attract/enable the system engineers/software developers to use socio-technical systems theory in building worthwhile information systems to avoid fragilities and hostilities in the work environment.
Manufacturing cost and setup time are the hot topics to improve in Metal Stamping industry because material and components price are always rising up while costumer requires to cut down the component price year by year. The Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of many methods to reduce waste in stamping industry. The Japanese Quick Die Change (QDC) dies system is one of SMED systems that could reduce both of setup time and manufacturing cost. However, this system is rarely used in stamping industries. This paper will analyze how deep the QDC dies system could reduce setup time and the manufacturing cost. The research is conducted by direct observation, simulating and comparing of QDC dies system with conventional dies system. In this research, we found that the QDC dies system could save up to 35% of manufacturing cost and reduce 70% of setup times. This simulation proved that the QDC die system is effective for cost reduction but must be applied in several parallel production processes.
In modern conditions, scientific judgment of problems in developing mechanisms of value creation and risk management acquires special relevance. Formation of economic knowledge has resulted in the constant analysis of consumer behavior for all players from national and world markets. Effective mechanisms development of the demand analysis, crucial for consumer's characteristics of future production, and the risks connected with the development of this production are the main objectives of control systems in modern conditions. The modern period of economic development is characterized by a high level of globalization of business and rigidity of competition. At the same time, the considerable share of new products and services costs has a non-material intellectual nature. The most successful in Russia is the contemporary development of small innovative firms. Such firms, through their unique technologies and new approaches to process management, which form the basis of their intellectual capital, can show flexibility and succeed in the market. As a rule, such enterprises should have very variable structure excluding the tough scheme of submission and demanding essentially new incentives for inclusion of personnel in innovative activity. Realization of similar structures, as well as a new approach to management, can be constructed based on value-oriented management which is directed to gradual change of consciousness of personnel and formation from groups of adherents included in the solution of the general innovative tasks. At the same time, valuable changes can gradually capture not only innovative firm staff, but also the structure of its corporate partners. Introduction of new technologies is the significant factor contributing to the development of new valuable imperatives and acceleration of the changing values systems of the organization. It relates to the fact that new technologies change the internal environment of the organization in a way that the old system of values becomes inefficient in new conditions. Introduction of new technologies often demands change in the structure of employee’s interaction and training in their new principles of work. During the introduction of new technologies and the accompanying change in the value system, the structure of the management of the values of the organization is changing. This is due to the need to attract more staff to justify and consolidate the new value system and bring their view into the motivational potential of the new value system of the organization.
The purpose of this article is to conduct a theoretical and empirical study in order to analyze how the Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Supply Chain Responsiveness (SCR) affects the competitive advantage of the agrofood sector in 2017, in particular, the exporting companies of berries in Mexico. This work is presented in two parts, as a first part is developed a theoretical analysis of the main studies to measure the variables subject to the study. Subsequently an empirical study is carried out through field work and to process the data a logical econometric model is performed to be able to evaluate the effect of the SCM and SCR on the competitive advantage in the companies exporting berries. The results suggest that the SCM has a positive effect on the competitive advantage of the companies under study, so it is necessary to implement greater practices oriented towards a suitable SCM for the companies to achieve a competitive performance. In the case of SCR, it was found that this variable does not have effect on competitive advantage.
The main purpose of this research study is to assist non-profit organizations (NPOs) to better segment a group of least developing countries and to optimally target the most needier areas, so that the provided aids make positive and lasting differences. We applied international marketing and strategy approaches to segment a sub-group of candidates among a group of 151 countries identified by the UN-G77 list, and furthermore, we point out the areas of priorities. We use reliable and well known criteria on the basis of economics, geography, demography and behavioral. These criteria can be objectively estimated and updated so that a follow-up can be performed to measure the outcomes of any program. We selected 12 socio-economic criteria that complement each other: GDP per capita, GDP growth, industry value added, export per capita, fragile state index, corruption perceived index, environment protection index, ease of doing business index, global competitiveness index, Internet use, public spending on education, and employment rate. A weight was attributed to each variable to highlight the relative importance of each criterion within the country. Care was taken to collect the most recent available data from trusted well-known international organizations (IMF, WB, WEF, and WTO). Construct of equivalence was carried out to compare the same variables across countries. The combination of all these weighted estimated criteria provides us with a global index that represents the level of development per country. An absolute index that combines wars and risks was introduced to exclude or include a country on the basis of conflicts and a collapsing state. The final step applied to the included countries consists of a benchmarking method to select the segment of countries and the percentile of each criterion. The results of this study allowed us to exclude 16 countries for risks and security. We also excluded four countries because they lack reliable and complete data. The other countries were classified per percentile thru their global index, and we identified the needier and the areas where aids are highly required to help any NPO to prioritize the area of implementation. This new concept is based on defined, actionable, accessible and accurate variables by which NPO can implement their program and it can be extended to profit companies to perform their corporate social responsibility acts.
Different transportation modes have key operational advantages and disadvantages, providing a variety of different transport options to users and passengers. This paper reviews key variables for the competition between air transport and other transport modes. The aim of this paper is to review the competition between air transport and other transport modes, providing results in terms of perceived cost for the users, for destinations high competitiveness for all transport modes. The competitor analysis variables include the cost and time outputs for each transport option, highlighting the level of competitiveness on high demanded Origin-Destination corridors. The case study presents the output of a such analysis for the OD corridor in Greece that connects the Capital city (Athens) with the second largest city (Thessaloniki) and the different transport modes have been considered (air, train, road). Conventional wisdom is to present an easy to handle tool for planners, managers and decision makers towards pricing policy effectiveness and demand attractiveness, appropriate to use for other similar cases.
It is widely recognised that the assets portfolio development is helping to enhance economic growth, productivity and competitiveness. While numerous studies and reports certify the positive effect of investments in large infrastructure investments on the local economy, still, the methodology to estimate the contribution in economic development is a challenging issue for researchers and economists. The key question is how to estimate those economic impacts in each economic system. This paper provides a compact and applicable methodological framework providing quantitative results in terms of the overall jobs and income generated into the project life cycle. According to a deterministic mathematical approach, the key variables and the modelling framework are presented. The numerical case study highlights key results for a new motorway project in Greece, which is experienced economic stress for many years, providing the opportunity for comparisons with similar cases.
Digital systems are in the Cognitive wave of the eTransformations and are now extensively aimed at meeting the individuals’ demands, both those of customers requiring services and those of service providers. It is also apparent that successful future systems will not just simply open doors to the traditional owners/users to offer and receive services such as Uber, for example, does today, but will in the future require more customized and cognitively enabled infrastructures that will be responsive to the system user’s needs. To be able to identify what is required for such systems this research reviews the historical and the current effects of the eTransformation process by studying: 1. eTransitions of company websites and mobile applications, 2. Emergence of new shared economy business models such as Uber, and 3. New requirements for demand driven, cognitive systems capable of learning and just-in-time decision-making. Based on the analysis, this study proposes a Cognitive eTransformation Framework capable of guiding implementations of new responsive and user aware systems.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between transaction fairness, social capital, supply chain integration and sustainability. Based on the previous studies, measurement items were determined by using SPSS 22 and exploratory factor analysis was performed, and again, using AMOS 21 for confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis was performed by using study items that satisfy reliability, validity, and appropriateness of measurement model. It has shown that transaction fairness has a (+) significant effect on social capital, social capital on supply chain integration, supply chain integration on economic sustainability and social sustainability, and has a (+), but not significant effect on environmental sustainability. It has shown that supply chain integration has been proven to play a role as a parameter between social capital and economic and social sustainability, but not as a parameter between environmental sustainability. Through this study, it is suggested that clearly examining the relationship between fairness of trade, social capital, supply chain integration and sustainability, maintaining fairness of the transaction make formation of social capital, and further integration of supply chain, and achieve sustainability of entire supply chain.