Topic：Operations Research improves railway management, spare parts control and container logistics
Professor of Quantitative Logistics, Erasmus School of Economics
Erasmus University Rotterdam
In this presentation we will give an overview on research in three management fields in which the Erasmus University Rotterdam has made significant contributions, using and developing techniques from operations research.
In the railway sector we have worked together with Netherlands Railways on a variety of problems, timetabling, line planning, shunting, routing for maintenance, crew rostering and disruption management. A new computerized way of generating timetabling was constructed and implemented at Netherlands Railways, which obtained the INFORMS Edelman award for best management science practice in 2009. The most recent work is about rescheduling personnel in case a railway track is out of operation because of some incidents.
In the presentation we will go into the development of robust railway timetables. In the Netherlands timetable punctuality is an important railway performance criterion. It is published monthly and both price increases as well as management bonuses are coupled with it. We consider the optimization of time supplements in the railway time table as to take care of small delays. We present a mathematical optimization algorithm, which is based on constructing many delay scenarios and developing a robust time table.
Spare parts are an important instrument to ensure high availability of capital goods. They can also be an important revenue source for equipment manufacturers if managed properly. One of the main problems in spare parts control however, is that demand is often intermittent and very lumpy. In this presentation we will give a short overview of a large project aimed at the development of spare parts control methods which is carried out in cooperation with some 14 leading companies. We focus on installed base forecasting, design methods for spare parts networks, control procedures in case of different demand classes and finally on the combination of maintenance and spare parts planning. We go in detail in the case of different demand classes.
The final topic is container and port logistics, which is a natural topic for a university in one of the world’s largest ports. We give an overview of research done for automated container terminals. Next we also address the congestion problems encountered in the road access to these terminals.