Cumbria is a geo-political county in Northwest England within which the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Whilst the area has a formidable reputation for natural beauty and historic assets, the innovation ecosystem is described as ‘patchy’ for a number of reasons. The county is one of the largest in England by area and is sparsely populated. This paper describes the needs, development and delivery of an SME business-support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. The Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) Project has been designed to respond to the nuanced needs of SMEs in this locale, whilst promoting the adoption of research and innovation. CUSP utilizes a funnel method to support rural businesses with access to university innovation intervention. CUSP has been built on a three-tier model: Communicate, Collaborate and Create. The paper describes this project in detail and presents results in terms of output indicators achieved, a beneficiary telephone survey and wider economic forecasts. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the paper provides experiences and reflections of those people who are delivering and evaluating knowledge exchange. The authors discuss some of the benefits, challenges and implications for both policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the paper aims to serve as an invitation to others who may consider adopting a similar method of university-industry collaboration in their own region.
Additive manufacturing processes have changed significantly in a wide range of industries and their application progressed from rapid prototyping to production of end-use products. However, their environmental impact is still a rather open question. In order to support the growth of this technology in the industrial sector, environmental aspects should be considered and predictive models may help monitor and reduce the environmental footprint of the processes. This work presents predictive models based on a previously developed methodology for the environmental impact evaluation combined with a technical and economical assessment. Here we applied the methodology to the Fused Deposition Modeling process. First, we present the predictive models relative to different types of machines. Then, we present a decision-making tool designed to identify the optimum manufacturing strategy regarding technical, economic, and environmental criteria.
Research in predictive maintenance modeling has improved in the recent years to predict failures and needed maintenance with high accuracy, saving cost and improving manufacturing efficiency. However, classic prediction models provide little valuable insight towards the most important features contributing to the failure. By analyzing and quantifying feature importance in predictive maintenance models, cost saving can be optimized based on business goals. First, multiple classifiers are evaluated with cross-validation to predict the multi-class of failures. Second, predictive performance with features provided by different feature selection algorithms are further analyzed. Third, features selected by different algorithms are ranked and combined based on their predictive power. Finally, linear explainer SHAP (SHapley Additive exPlanations) is applied to interpret classifier behavior and provide further insight towards the specific roles of features in both local predictions and global model behavior. The results of the experiments suggest that certain features play dominant roles in predictive models while others have significantly less impact on the overall performance. Moreover, for multi-class prediction of machine failures, the most important features vary with type of machine failures. The results may lead to improved productivity and cost saving by prioritizing sensor deployment, data collection, and data processing of more important features over less importance features.
The oil refining industry plays vital role in the world economy. Oil refining companies operate in a more complex and dynamic environment than ever before. In addition, oil refining companies and the public are becoming more conscious of crude oil scarcity and climate changes. Hence, sustainability in the oil refining industry is becoming increasingly critical to the industry's long-term viability and to the environmental sustainability. Mainly, it is relevant to the measurement and evaluation of the company's sustainable performance to support the company in understanding their performance and its implication more objectively and establishing sustainability development plans. Consequently, the oil refining companies attempt to re-engineer their supply chain to meet the sustainable goals and standards. On the other hand, this research realized that previous research in oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurements reveals that there is a lack of studies that consider the integration of sustainability in the supply chain performance measurement practices in the oil refining industry. Therefore, there is a need for research that provides performance guidance, which can be used to measure sustainability and assist in setting sustainable goals for oil refining supply chains. Accordingly, this paper aims to present a comprehensive oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurement theoretical framework. In development of this theoretical framework, the main characteristics of oil refining industry have been identified. For this purpose, a thorough review of relevant literature on performance measurement models and sustainable supply chain performance measurement models has been conducted. The comprehensive oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurement theoretical framework introduced in this paper aims to assist oil refining companies in measuring and evaluating their performance from a sustainability aspect to achieve sustainable operational excellence.
The dynamic facility layout problem is a really critical issue in the competitive industrial market; thus, solving this problem requires robust design and effective simulation systems. The sustainable simulation requires inputting reliable and accurate data into the system. So this paper describes an automated system integrated into the real environment to measure the duration of the material handling operations, collect the data in real-time, and determine the variances between the actual and estimated time schedule of the operations in order to update the simulation software and redesign the facility layout periodically. The automated method- time measurement system collects the real data through using Radio Frequency-Identification (RFID) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Hence, attaching RFID- antenna reader and RFID tags enables the system to identify the location of the objects and gathering the time data. The real duration gathered will be manipulated by calculating the moving average duration of the material handling operations, choosing the shortest material handling path, and then updating the simulation software to redesign the facility layout accommodating with the shortest/real operation schedule. The periodic simulation in real-time is more sustainable and reliable than the simulation system relying on an analysis of historical data. The case study of this methodology is in cooperation with a workshop team for producing mechanical parts. Although there are some technical limitations, this methodology is promising, and it can be significantly useful in the redesigning of the manufacturing layout.
Repairable items inventory system is a management tool used to incorporate all information concerning inventory levels and movements for repaired and new items. This paper presents development of an effective simulation model for managing the inventory of repairable items for a production system where production lines send their faulty items to a repair shop considering the stochastic failure behavior and repair times. The developed model imitates the process of handling the on-hand inventory of repaired items and the replenishment of the inventory of new items using Economic Order Quantity and Reorder Point ordering policy in a flexible and risk-free environment. We demonstrate the appropriateness and effectiveness of the proposed simulation model using an illustrative case problem. The developed simulation model can be used as a reliable tool for estimating a healthy on-hand inventory of new and repaired items, backordered items, and downtime due to unavailability of repaired items, and validating and examining Economic Order Quantity and Reorder Point ordering policy, which would further be compared with other ordering strategies as future work.
In this paper, we proposed an AI Tutor using ontology and natural language process techniques to generate a computer science domain knowledge graph and answer users’ questions based on the knowledge graph. We define eight types of relation to extract relationships between entities according to the computer science domain text. The AI tutor is separated into two agents: learning agent and Question-Answer (QA) agent and developed on JADE (a multi-agent system) platform. The learning agent is responsible for reading text to extract information and generate a corresponding knowledge graph by defined patterns. The QA agent can understand the users’ questions and answer humans’ questions based on the knowledge graph generated by the learning agent.
With the development of information technology in China, network consumption is becoming more and more popular. As a special group, college students have a high degree of education and distinct opinions and personalities. In the future, the key groups of network consumption have gradually become the focus groups of network consumption. Studying college students’ online consumption behavior has important theoretical significance and practical value. Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) driving model and the structural equation model, this paper establishes the influencing factors model of College students’ online consumption behavior, evaluates and amends the model by using SPSS and AMOS software, analyses and determines the positive factors of marketing college students’ consumption, and provides an effective basis for guiding and promoting college student consumption.
In recent years, maintenance optimization has attracted special attention due to the growth of industrial systems complexity. Maintenance costs are high for many systems, and preventive maintenance is effective when it increases operations' reliability and safety at a reduced cost. The novelty of this research is to consider general repair in the modeling of multi-unit series systems and solve the maintenance problem for such systems using the semi-Markov decision process (SMDP) framework. We propose an opportunistic maintenance policy for a series system composed of two main units. Unit 1, which is more expensive than unit 2, is subjected to condition monitoring, and its deterioration is modeled using a gamma process. Unit 1 hazard rate is estimated by the proportional hazards model (PHM), and two hazard rate control limits are considered as the thresholds of maintenance interventions for unit 1. Maintenance is performed on unit 2, considering an age control limit. The objective is to find the optimal control limits and minimize the long-run expected average cost per unit time. The proposed algorithm is applied to a numerical example to compare the effectiveness of the proposed policy (policy Ⅰ) with policy Ⅱ, which is similar to policy Ⅰ, but instead of general repair, replacement is performed. Results show that policy Ⅰ leads to lower average cost compared with policy Ⅱ.
This paper aims to explore the possibility of time compression in Engineer to Order production networks. A case study research method is used in a Norwegian shipbuilding project by implementing a value stream mapping lean tool with total cycle time as a unit of analysis. The analysis resulted in demonstrating the time deviations for the planned tasks in one of the processes in the shipbuilding project. So, authors developed a future state map by removing time wastes from value stream process.
In the era of big data, public investors are faced with more complicated information related to investment decisions than ever before. To survive in the fierce competition, it has become increasingly urgent for investors to combine multi-source knowledge and evaluate the companies’ true value efficiently. For this, a rule-based ontology reasoning method is proposed to support steel companies’ value assessment. Considering the delay in financial disclosure and based on cost-benefit analysis, this paper introduces the supply chain enterprises financial analysis and constructs the ontology model used to value the value of steel company. In addition, domain knowledge is formally expressed with the help of Web Ontology Language (OWL) language and SWRL (Semantic Web Rule Language) rules. Finally, a case study on a steel company in China proved the effectiveness of the method we proposed.
This paper develops a robust deadlock control technique for shared and unreliable resources in automated manufacturing systems (AMSs) based on structural analysis and colored Petri nets, which consists of three steps. The first step involves using strict minimal siphon control to create a live (deadlock-free) system that does not consider resource failure. The second step uses an approach based on colored Petri net, in which all monitors designed in the first step are merged into a single monitor. The third step addresses the deadlock control problems caused by resource failures. For all resource failures in the Petri net model a common recovery subnet based on colored petri net is proposed. The common recovery subnet is added to the obtained system at the second step to make the system reliable. The proposed approach is evaluated using an AMS from the literature. The results show that the proposed approach can be applied to an unreliable complex Petri net model, has a simpler structure and less computational complexity, and can obtain one common recovery subnet to model all resource failures.
Tracking and monitoring agricultural products, cold chain activities, and transportation in real-time can effectively ensure both the quality and safety of agricultural products, as well as reduce overall logistics costs. Effective supply chain practices are one of the main requirements for enhancing agricultural business in Egypt. Cold chain is among the best practices for the storage and transportation of perishable goods and has potential within the agricultural sector in Egypt. This practice has the scope of reducing the wastage of food and increasing the profitability with a reduction in costs. Even though it has several implementation challenges for the farmers, traders, and people involved in the entire supply chain, it has highlighted better benefits for all and for the export of goods for the economic progression for Egypt. The aim of this paper is to explore cold supply chain practices for the agriculture sector in Egypt, to enhance the export performance of fresh goods. In this context, this study attempts to explore those aspects of the performance of cold supply chain practices that can enhance the functioning of the agriculture sector in Egypt from the perspective of export companies (traders) and farmers. Based on the empirical results obtained by data collection from the farmers and traders, the study argues that there is a significant association between cold supply chain practices and enhancement of the agriculture value chain. The paper thus highlights the contribution of the study with final conclusions and limitations with scope for future research.
Task Assignment and Scheduling is a challenging Operations Research problem when there is a limited number of resources and comparatively higher number of tasks. The Cost Management team at Cummins needs to assign tasks based on a deadline and must prioritize some of the tasks as per business requirements. Moreover, there is a constraint on the resources that assignment of tasks should be done based on an individual skill level, that may vary for different tasks. Another constraint is for scheduling the tasks that should be evenly distributed in terms of number of working hours, which adds further complexity to this problem. The proposed greedy approach to solve assignment and scheduling problem first assigns the task based on management priority and then by the closest deadline. This is followed by an iterative selection of an available resource with the least allocated total working hours for a task, i.e. finding the local optimal choice for each task with the goal of determining the global optimum. The greedy approach task allocation is compared with a variant of Hungarian Algorithm, and it is observed that the proposed approach gives an equal allocation of working hours among the resources. The comparative study of the proposed approach is also done with manual task allocation and it is noted that the visibility of the task timeline has increased from 2 months to 6 months. An interactive dashboard app is created for the greedy assignment and scheduling approach and the tasks with more than 2 months horizon that were waiting in a queue without a delivery date initially are now analyzed effectively by the business with expected timelines for completion.
In the past few decades, international research on the country of origin of products has garnered significant interest, particularly in investigating the effects of consumers’ evaluation and perception. As globalization and market competition rise, international firms are seeking ways to control their labour costs and minimise taxes. Many products are outsourced and manufactured in countries with cheap labour. Consequently, the proliferation of ‘bi-national’ products has increased, raising important questions related to consumers’ perception. Moreover, the rapid growth in emerging markets, especially in Asia, has made these countries attractive options for international brands. Therefore, studying the country of origin allows firms and researchers to understand how customers perceive such information regarding the country of manufacture and the country of the brand. This study aims to investigate the influence of the country of manufacture (COM) and country of brand (COB) on Thai consumers’ perception of the brand. In addition, it embraces a different perspective on brand experience as a moderating factor. A sample of 403 Thai respondents was collected through face-to-face survey questionnaires in central Bangkok. This research employs an experiment using a factorial design to test the hypotheses. SPSS statistics software was adopted to analyse and validate the reliability of the testing of the constructs and model hypotheses. The results of this research show that the respondents positively respond to the COB more than the COM, and brand experience plays a moderating role in this research. This research provides a significant contribution to the existing literature and managerial practicality by using multi-dimensional information on the country and analyses the relationships between these dimensions.
In recent decades, the analysis of the effects of clustering as an essential factor for the development of innovations and the competitiveness of enterprises has raised great interest in different areas. Nowadays, companies have access to almost all tangible and intangible resources located and/or developed in any country in the world. However, despite the obvious advantages that this situation entails for companies, their geographical location has shown itself, increasingly clearly, to be a fundamental factor that positively influences their innovative performance and competitiveness. Industrial clusters could represent a unique level of analysis, positioned between the individual company and the industry, which makes them an ideal unit of analysis to determine the effects derived from company membership of a cluster. Also, the absorptive capacity (hereinafter 'AC') can mediate the process of innovation development by companies located in a cluster. The transformation and exploitation of knowledge could have a mediating effect between knowledge acquisition and innovative performance. The main objective of this work is to determine the key factors that affect the degree of generation and use of knowledge from the environment by companies and, consequently, their innovative performance and competitiveness. The elements analyzed are the companies' membership of a cluster and the AC. To this end, 30 most relevant papers published on this subject in the "Web of Science" database have been reviewed. Our findings show that, within a cluster, the knowledge coming from the companies' environment can significantly influence their innovative performance and competitiveness, although in this relationship, the degree of access and exploitation of the companies to this knowledge plays a fundamental role, which depends on a series of elements both internal and external to the company.
Ghana’s Public Financial Management reforms have been going on for some two decades now (1997/98 to 2017/18). Given this long period of reforms, Ghana in 2019 is putting together both a Public Financial Management (PFM) strategy and a Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) strategy for the next 5-years (2020-2024). The primary aim of these dual strategies is assisting the country in moving beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability. In this paper we, first, examined the evolution of Ghana’s PFM reforms. We, secondly, reviewed the legal and institutional reforms undertaken to strengthen the country’s key PFM institutions. Thirdly, we summarized the strengths and weaknesses identified by the 2018 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment of Ghana’s PFM system relating to its macro-fiscal framework, budget preparation and approval, budget execution, accounting and fiscal reporting as well as external scrutiny and audit. We, finally, considered what the country should be doing to achieve its intended goal of PFM consolidation and sustainability. Using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents, we, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learnt by other developing countries from Ghana’s PFM reforms experiences. These lessons included the need to: (a) undergird any PFM reform with a comprehensive PFM reform strategy; (b) undertake a legal and institutional reforms of the key PFM institutions; (c) assess the strengths and weaknesses of those reforms using PFM performance evaluation tools such as PEFA framework; and (d) move beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability.
Since the discovery of the manuscript, mechanical methods for storing, transferring and using the information have evolved into digital methods over the time. In this process, libraries that are the center of the information have also become digitized and become accessible from anywhere and at any time in the world by taking on a structure that has no physical boundaries. In this context, some criteria for information obtained from digital libraries have become more important for users. This paper evaluates the user criteria from different perspectives that make a digital library more useful. The Step-Wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis-Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (SWARA-WASPAS) method is used with flexibility and easy calculation steps for the evaluation of digital library criteria. Three different digital libraries are evaluated by information technology experts according to five conflicting main criteria, ‘interface design’, ‘effects on users’, ‘services’, ‘user engagement’ and ‘context’. Finally, alternatives are ranked in descending order.
The present research investigates the effect of symmetry on the perception of happiness and boredom in design products. Three experiments were carried out in order to verify the degree of the visual expressive value on different models of bookcases, wall clocks, and chairs. 60 participants directly indicated the degree of happiness and boredom using 7-point rating scales. The findings show that the participants acknowledged a different value of expressive quality in the different product models. Results show also that symmetry is not a significant constraint for an emotional design project.
This research aims to design and build a wet etching system, which is suitable for anisotropic wet etching, in order to reduce etching time, to reduce hillocks on the etched surface (to reduce roughness), and to create a 45-degree wall angle (micro-mirror). This study would start by designing a wet etching system. There are four main components in this system: an ultrasonic cleaning, a condenser, a motor and a substrate holder. After that, an ultrasonic machine was modified by applying a condenser to maintain the consistency of the solution concentration during the etching process and installing a motor for improving the roughness. This effect on the etch rate and the roughness showed that the etch rate increased and the roughness was reduced.
Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.
Innovation is a key driver for companies, society, and economic growth. However, assessing and measuring innovation for individuals as well as organizations remains difficult. Our i5-Score presented in this study will help to overcome this difficulty and facilitate measuring the innovation potential. The score is based on a framework we call the 5Gs of innovation which defines specific innovation attributes. Those are 1) the drive for long-term goals 2) the audacity to generate new ideas, 3) the openness to share ideas with others, 4) the ability to grow, and 5) the ability to maintain high levels of optimism. To validate the i5-Score, we conducted a study at Florida Polytechnic University. The results show that the i5-Score is a good measure reflecting the innovative mindset of an individual or a group. Thus, the score can be utilized for evaluating, refining and enhancing innovation capabilities.
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity of machine to machine, human to machine and human to human via Internet of Things (IoT). Technologies of industry 4.0 facilitate communication between human and machine through IoT and forms Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS). In CPPS, multiple shop floors sensor data are connected through IoT and displayed through sensor dashboard to the operator. These sensor dashboards have enormous amount of information to be presented which becomes complex for operators to perform monitoring, controlling and interpretation tasks. Designing handheld sensor dashboards for supervision task will become a challenge for the interface designers. This paper reports emerging technologies of industry 4.0, changing context of increasing information complexity in consecutive industrial revolutions and upcoming design challenges for interface designers in context of Industry 4.0. Authors conclude that information complexity of sensor dashboards design has increased with consecutive industrial revolutions and designs of sensor dashboard causes cognitive load on users. Designing such complex dashboards interfaces in Industry 4.0 context will become main challenges for the interface designers.