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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Trends in production system research
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Volume 26, Issue 2
The eight papers contributed to this Special Issue of the Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management (JMTM) on trends in Production System Research reveal a rich variety of quality research studies, which attest to the continuing interest of researchers worldwide in exploring new ways to enhance the performance of production systems. The extent and depth of the different approaches used to advance the field are manifested in the discussions of the many results presented in this issue.
The first three papers deal with assembly and disassembly lines. In his paper titled “A technique for integrated modelling of manual and automatic assembly”, Cohen describes a comprehensive modelling framework that supports the assembly of moderate quantities of very complex products that require both worker guidance and automation.
Kalayci, Polat and Gupta, in their article “A variable neighbourhood search algorithm for disassembly lines” propose a variable neighbourhood search algorithm to solve the disassembly line balancing problem and the sequence-dependent disassembly line balancing problem on a paced disassembly line.
McGovern and Gupta in their contribution “Unified assembly- and disassembly-line model formulae” present six metrics for use in assembly and disassembly line sequencing and balancing. Three new metrics are then developed and applied to a simple case product selected for sequencing on an assembly line.
Another aspect dealt with in two of the articles is that of supply chain. Ebrahim Nejad and Kuzgunkaya in their study “On the value of response time characteristics in robust design of supply flow” develop a multi-stage robust optimization model to determine optimal strategic stock level and response speed of volume-flexible back-up supplier in order to mitigate disruptions and achieve a robust supply flow.
In an article entitled “An experimental investigation of lean management in aviation – avoiding unforced errors for better supply chain”, Raghu Kumar, Sharma and Agarwal identify important factors which constrain implementation and sustenance of lean strategies in the aviation industry, and ways to avoid slow attrition within annals of lean, based on information collected through survey and a case study.
The three remaining papers look, respectively, at the issues of operations strategy, workload control and scheduling. Jagoda and Kiridena in their investigation “Operations strategy processes and performance: insights from the contract apparel manufacturing industry” explore the significance and dynamics of alternative operations strategy processes, towards developing a more complete picture of the strategy process-context-performance nexus. Data were collected from 109 contract apparel manufacturing firms in Sri Lanka and cluster analysis was used to identify alternative configurations of strategy process modes.
In “A case study of the successful implementation of workload control: a practitioner-led approach”, Silva, Stevenson and Thurer shed light on a successful implementation of workload control in which the implementation was practitioner (rather than researcher) led, whereas the researchers played a facilitating role.
Maleki and Taghavi Fard in the article “Evaluation of scheduling using triangular whitenization functions” investigate the grey systems theory as a method for standard time determination using triangular whitenization weight functions for an assembly activity at an Iranian company.
As Guest Editors, we have appreciated the rich and exciting opportunity to put together this Special Issue. Our thanks must go to the authors of the papers for their enthusiasm, patience and determination to provide their best efforts which permitted us to create this varied and interesting issue. We would also like to express our gratitude to the many reviewers (both of these papers and those that are finally not included), whose thorough and professional feedback provided great help and support to the authors to improve their papers.
Finally, we would like to express our warm thanks and gratitude to Professor David Bennett, ex-editor of JMTM, whose prompt, efficient and informative response to all of our queries immensely heartened and helped us over the many months needed to put this issue together. Our warm thanks must also go to Samantha Thompson, Managing Editor, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, whose timely advice and highly professional support was of great help throughout.
Dr Sabry Shaaban
ESC La Rochelle School of Business, France
Dr Abdul Salam Darwish
Manchester Trinity College, UK