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Ada Suk Fung Ng

This chapter explains the impact containerisation has on the various partners of the global supply chain and the challenges companies encounter and the solutions they use…

Abstract

This chapter explains the impact containerisation has on the various partners of the global supply chain and the challenges companies encounter and the solutions they use in dealing with empty container repositioning.

The phenomenon of imbalanced container flows and its impact on shipping lines, shippers, container haulage companies, port development and the economy are presented. Special attention is given to explain the many solutions companies use to reduce the impact of empty container repositioning, hence tracing out the past research that led to these solutions and pointing to potentially new research directions in the future.

Because of the widespread use of containerisation and the imbalanced container flows that results from globalisation, empty container repositioning will be an ongoing issue for the maritime logistics industry. Many solutions are being used, but there is room for improvement and more research is needed.

Empty container repositioning is an important issue but has not been deemed as such in the literature. This chapter explains the reasons it is important and that its impact is not limited to shipping lines only but affects the whole supply chain.

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Article

H.Y.K. Lau, M.C.C. Ngan, L.C.C. Wai and A.K.S. Ng

The ability to appreciate the sensation of force and torque that is experienced by the slave device in a teleoperator system is essential for achieving remote…

Abstract

The ability to appreciate the sensation of force and torque that is experienced by the slave device in a teleoperator system is essential for achieving remote manipulations such as assembly and disassembly, telesurgery, and remote handling of delicate and dangerous substances. This paper describes an intelligent teleoperator system that not only provides high quality force feedback information in teleoperation but also additional information about the contact formation between the slave device and the environment is presented to the operator. This paper also discusses the design of the teleoperator system and introduces its architecture. Experimental study using the developed teleoperator system is presented that highlights its performance in real life applications.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Albert Ko, H.Y.K. Lau and T.L. Lau

To present the design and control of a low cost, two‐wheeled, self‐balancing robot for detecting and reporting fire and intruders in a small home/office setting.

Abstract

Purpose

To present the design and control of a low cost, two‐wheeled, self‐balancing robot for detecting and reporting fire and intruders in a small home/office setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Implement an intelligent control system to make up for instabilities of low‐cost components.

Findings

Biologically inspired suppression system can effectively eliminate undesired sensor noises.

Research limitations/implications

Improving self‐balancing robots' tolerant to impulsive forces from the sides allows them to be designed with smaller front‐prints.

Practical implications

Inherited high maneuverability together with miniature design enables self‐balancing robots to navigate smoothly through tight space.

Originality/value

Demonstrates the control of a dynamically unstable system can be controlled using a simple suppression mechanism.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article

Binghai Zhou, Xiujuan Li and Yuxian Zhang

This paper aims to investigate the part feeding scheduling problem with electric vehicles (EVs) for automotive assembly lines. A point-to-point part feeding model has been…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the part feeding scheduling problem with electric vehicles (EVs) for automotive assembly lines. A point-to-point part feeding model has been formulated to minimize the number of EVs and the maximum handling time by specifying the EVs and sequence of all the delivery tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a mathematical programming model of point-to-point part feeding scheduling problem (PTPPFSP) with EVs is presented. Because the PTPPFSP is NP-hard, an improved multi-objective cuckoo search (IMCS) algorithm is developed with novel search strategies, possessing the self-adaptive Levy flights, the Gaussian mutation and elite selection strategy to strengthen the algorithm’s optimization performance. In addition, two local search operators are designed for deep optimization. The effectiveness of the IMCS algorithm is verified by dealing with the PTPPFSP in different problem scales.

Findings

Numerical experiments are used to demonstrate how the IMCS algorithm serves as an efficient method to solve the PTPPFSP with EVs. The effectiveness and feasibility of the IMCS algorithm are validated by approximate Pareto fronts obtained from the instances of different problem scales. The computational results show that the IMCS algorithm can achieve better performance than the other high-performing algorithms in terms of solution quality, convergence and diversity.

Research limitations/implications

This study is applicable without regard to the breakdown of EVs. The current research contributes to the scheduling of in-plant logistics for automotive assembly lines, and it could be modified to cope with similar part feeding scheduling problems characterized by just-in-time (JIT) delivery.

Originality/value

Both limited electricity capacity and no earliness and tardiness constraints are considered, and the scheduling problem is solved satisfactorily and innovatively for an efficient JIT part feeding with EVs applied to in-plant logistics.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

H.Y.K. Lau and I.S.K. Lee

A neural network controller is proposed for the motion control of robot manipulators with force/torque feedback signals. This controller is trained with reinforcement…

Abstract

A neural network controller is proposed for the motion control of robot manipulators with force/torque feedback signals. This controller is trained with reinforcement learning algorithms and a model is extracted from the synaptic weights within the neural network. This model is continuously refined by the feedback signals to ensure its validity even in a stochastic and non‐stationary environment. With this model and the real‐time force/torque feedback data, the robot can acquire a fine skill for a particular assembly task for which it is trained.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Jing Guo, Ping Li, Huaicheng Yan and Hongliang Ren

The purpose of this paper is to design a model-based bilateral teleoperation method to improve the feedback force and velocity/position tracking for robotic-assisted tasks…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design a model-based bilateral teleoperation method to improve the feedback force and velocity/position tracking for robotic-assisted tasks (such as palpation, etc.) under constant and/or varying time delay with environment dynamic property. Time delay existing in bilateral teleoperation easily destabilizes the system. Proper control strategies are able to make the system stable, but at the cost of compromised performance. Model-based bilateral teleoperation is designed to achieve enhanced performance of this time-delayed system, but an accurate model is required.

Design/methodology/approach

Viscoelastic model has been used to describe the robot tool-soft tissue interaction behavior. Kevin-Boltzmann (K-B) model is selected to model the soft tissue behavior due to its good accuracy, transient and linearity properties among several viscoelastic models. In this work, the K-B model is designed at the master side to generate a virtual environment of remote robotic tool-soft tissue interaction. In order to obtain improved performance, a self perturbing recursive least square (SPRLS) algorithm is developed to on-line update the necessary parameters of the environment with varying dynamics.

Findings

With fast and optimal on-line estimation of primary parameters of the K-B model, the reflected force of the model-based bilateral teleoperation at the master side is improved as well as the position/velocity tracking performance. This model-based design in the bilateral teleoperation avoids the stability issue caused by time delay in the communication channel since the exchanged information become position/velocity and estimated parameters of the used model. Even facing with big and varying time delay, the system keeps stably and enhanced tracking performance. Besides, the fast convergence of the SPRLS algorithm helps to track the time-varying dynamic of the environment, which satisfies the surgical applications as the soft tissue properties usually are not static.

Originality/value

The originality of this work lies in that an enhanced perception of bilateral teleoperation structure under constant/varying time delay that benefits robotic assisted tele-palpation (time varying environment dynamic) tasks is developed. With SPRLS algorithm to on-line estimate the main parameters of environment, the feedback perception of system can be enhanced with stable velocity/position tracking. The superior velocity/position and force tracking performance of the developed method makes it possible for future robotic-assisted tasks with long-distance communication.

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Article

Intan Azurin Zainee and Fadilah Puteh

As the new emerging workforce, Generation Y (Gen Y) is said to be demanding, influential and possessing strong bargaining power. This study examines the impact of…

Abstract

Purpose

As the new emerging workforce, Generation Y (Gen Y) is said to be demanding, influential and possessing strong bargaining power. This study examines the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on employee retention among Gen Y in the accounting profession. CSR is widely researched subject due to its applicability in multidisciplinary fields and industries. This research intends to investigate the nexus between CSR and human capital disciplines. It employs Carroll's pyramid of CSR as the main theoretical framework to establish its relationship with talent retention among Gen Y employees. This study has a threefold aim: (1) to determine the level of CSR awareness, (2) to determine the relationship between CSR dimensions and talent retention and (3) to examine the effect of CSR dimensions on talent retention.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an exploratory study using the structured questionnaire. A total of 377 Gen Y accountants who are currently working in accounting firms located in Klang Valley, Malaysia, were involved as respondents. Data were analyzed using descriptive, correlation and regression analyses to answer the research objectives.

Findings

The paper provided empirical insights about the impact brought by CSR practices in financial-based firms on employee retention. It was found that all CSR elements, as suggested by Carroll, have a significant relationship with employees’ retention. The interaction between the CSR elements and employee retention accounts for 16% of the research model. Based on the multiple regression analysis, it was found that only two CSR elements are the significant predictors of employee retention among Gen Y in the case of financial-based firms in Malaysia.

Research limitations/implications

This research covers Gen Y employees in accounting firms; thus, generalization is not applicable to other generations. Besides, the predictors of the research study utilize Carroll’s pyramid of CSR. Therefore, future research studies are encouraged to validate the research model into other sectors. Other models of CSR could also be used.

Practical implications

This paper includes implication for the organization to understand employee retention practices on Gen Y who are currently dominating the workforce.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills an identified need to study how CSR practices could enhance employee retention among Gen Y in the organization.

Details

Revista de Gestão, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1809-2276

Keywords

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Article

K.L. Mak and H.Y.K. Lau

The flexibility of an automated manufacturing system (AMS) is largely determined by the architecture of its supervisory software. The AMS supervisory software should be…

Abstract

The flexibility of an automated manufacturing system (AMS) is largely determined by the architecture of its supervisory software. The AMS supervisory software should be compatible enough to allow re‐configuration, maintenance, and upgrading to be done at a reasonable cost, so as to prolong the life span of the AMS, and to maintain its value and success. In this connection, the application of software engineering methodologies is to introduce better management of AMS software development, with a view to providing some structure and formality to express, analyse, and produce them. This paper presents an object‐oriented methodology to address the task of AMS supervisory software development. The effectiveness of the methodology is examined in an extensive case study of the development of the supervisory software for a flexible manufacturing cell (FMC) that contains a robot and an AGV.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article

Vinayak Kalluri and Rambabu Kodali

The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic review and analysis of existing research articles on new product development (NPD) published in the 12-year period…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic review and analysis of existing research articles on new product development (NPD) published in the 12-year period starting from 1998 to 2009.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore the articles related to NPD, four key words namely new product, product design, product development and product innovation were used in combination of title or abstract or keyword of the articles through several knowledge databases. The abstracts of journal papers were read and a decision as to whether article belongs to any NPD research issue or not was made. In total, 1,127 research articles were categorized systematically and then analyzed on various principal NPD information groups.

Findings

Analysis of selected articles led to a certain level of dispersion in the publication of NPD research in different journals. It is found that more attention needs to be on knowledge and creativity management, communication and information transfer in any NPD process.

Originality/value

By observing extended literature from authors reviewing articles from various journals, growth in research, and variety of topics covered in NPD, a broad systematic multi journal review of NPD literature is clearly overdue. The authors have developed a comprehensive listing of publications on NPD where they have classified the surveyed papers according to various principal NPD information groups like: published year, NPD research stream, type of organization studied (industrial/consumer/service), level of innovation (high/moderate/low), NPD focus on frameworks, performance perspective (success, failure or both), NPD research design (conceptual/empirical and qualitative/quantitative) and NPD relevant best practice element. Based on the classification scheme, the issues were analyzed from the system's perspective and their implications to NPD research.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article

Wu Deng, Meng Sun, Huimin Zhao, Bo Li and Chunxiao Wang

This study aims to propose a new airport gate assignment method to effectively improve the comprehensive operation capacity and efficiency of hub airport. Gate assignment…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to propose a new airport gate assignment method to effectively improve the comprehensive operation capacity and efficiency of hub airport. Gate assignment is one of the most important tasks for airport ground operations, which assigns appropriate airport gates with high efficiency reasonable arrangement.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, on the basis of analyzing the characteristics of airport gates and flights, an efficient multi-objective optimization model of airport gate assignment based on the objectives of the most balanced idle time, the shortest walking distances of passengers and the least number of flights at apron is constructed. Then an improved ant colony optimization (ICQACO) algorithm based on the ant colony collaborative strategy and pheromone update strategy is designed to solve the constructed model to fast realize the gate assignment and obtain a rational and effective gate assignment result for all flights in the different period.

Findings

In the designed ICQACO algorithm, the ant colony collaborative strategy is used to avoid the rapid convergence to the local optimal solution, and the pheromone update strategy is used to quickly increase the pheromone amount, eliminate the interference of the poor path and greatly accelerate the convergence speed.

Practical implications

The actual flight data from Guangzhou Baiyun airport of China is selected to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the constructed multi-objective optimization model and the designed ICQACO algorithm. The experimental results show that the designed ICQACO algorithm can increase the pheromone amount, accelerate the convergence speed and avoid to fall into the local optimal solution. The constructed multi-objective optimization model can effectively improve the comprehensive operation capacity and efficiency. This study is a very meaningful work for airport gate assignment.

Originality/value

An efficient multi-objective optimization model for hub airport gate assignment problem is proposed in this paper. An improved ant colony optimization algorithm based on ant colony collaborative strategy and the pheromone update strategy is deeply studied to speed up the convergence and avoid to fall into the local optimal solution.

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