Research Summaries

Back Plant Utilization at Marine Corps Logistics Command (MCLC)

Fiscal Year 2015
Division Research & Sponsored Programs
Department Naval Research Program
Investigator(s) Salmeron-Medrano, Javier
Sponsor NPS Naval Research Program (Navy)
Summary The Marine Corp Logistics Command has limited situational awareness regarding plant capacities and their effect on various logistical capabilities such as supply availability of certain commodities and maintenance responsiveness for various types of equipment. This shortcoming is manifested e.g., in the plants at the Blount Island Command. Plant capacity is determined by three main factors: 1. the physical size of the plant, 2. the number and mix of facilities and equipment supporting that plant, and 3. the quantity and qualifications of personnel assigned to the plant. Each of these factors constitutes a constraint limiting the capacity of the plant. Moreover, the actual realizations of these factors determine the flexibility of the plant and its ability to properly respond to uncertain demand (see e.g., Kress 2000 and Kress 2002).
The problem we intend to address is: how to design MC logistical plants such that they can operate efficiently while providing maximum response to changing demand.
The general research area is capacity planning; an area that has been addressed in the past both in the business world (e.g., Eppen et al, 1989) and in military contexts such as navy (de Boer et al, 1997) and air force (Dijkstra et al, 1991 ).
We will develop a computer optimization tool based on mathematical optimization to guide plant design and utilization at MCLC. The tool will optimize the design of multiple maintenance plants holistically. It will recommend optimal levels of physical capacity, equipment, manning and operations at all plants to minimize total cost including capacity expansion. personnel, transportation of equipment for maintenance at other facilities and penalties for delayed completion of work. The tool will also address uncertainty-related issues such as fluctuations in repair requirements Research questions:
1. Strategic level: what is the optimal plant capacity m terms of infrastructure? (fixed maintenance equipment, spare-parts inventory and working/storage capacity)
2. Operational level: what is the optimal assignment of personnel and mobile maintenance equipment to the various plants? What is the optimal assignment of maintenance tasks to plants?
3. Tactical levelยท what is the optimal ass1grunent of maintenance tasks within a plant to qualified maintenance personnel?
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