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Article

Samuel Lindén and Per‐Erik Josephson

The purpose of this paper is to discover whether on‐site materials handling should be performed in‐house or out‐sourced. This is done by studying visible and hidden costs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discover whether on‐site materials handling should be performed in‐house or out‐sourced. This is done by studying visible and hidden costs related to materials handling and of the managers' awareness of these costs.

Design/methodology/approach

The data have been gathered through 15 interviews, a number of short discussions on construction sites, and direct observations on six occasions in four housing projects in Scandinavia.

Findings

Indirect and waste costs for materials handling on construction sites are unknown and are often underestimated during budgeting, planning, scheduling and organizing construction projects.

Practical implications

The short case‐studies indicate that the benefits of out‐sourcing on‐site materials handling outweigh the costs.

Originality/value

The solution for materials handling in practice studied in the paper is undergoing rapid development in Scandinavia.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article

F.T.S. Chan

A key task in the material handling system design process is the selection and configuration of equipment for material transport and storage in a facility. Material

Abstract

A key task in the material handling system design process is the selection and configuration of equipment for material transport and storage in a facility. Material handling equipment selection is a complex, tedious task. However, there are few tools other than checklists to assist engineers in the selection of appropriate, cost‐effective material handling equipment. This paper describes the development of an intelligent material handling equipment selection system called MHESA (Material Handling Equipment Selection Advisor). The MHESA is composed of three modules: a database to store equipment types with their specifications; a knowledge‐based expert system for assisting material handling equipment selection; and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) model to choose the most favorable equipment type. The concept proposed in this paper can automate the design of material handling equipment selection system, and provides artificial intelligence in the decision‐making process.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article

Antonio C. Caputo and Pacifico M. Pelagagge

This paper aims to discuss some relevant issues in the design and operation of material handling and storage systems (MH&SS) characterized by complex material flows and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss some relevant issues in the design and operation of material handling and storage systems (MH&SS) characterized by complex material flows and high‐traffic intensity. The paper seeks to provide solution examples and an analysis methodology to face large increases of materials flows through a redesign of the material handling and storage system.

Design/methodology/approach

At first, possible strategies to improve system performances when facing strong increments of material flows are presented and discussed. A significant case study is then analyzed in order to present a practical application of the proposed methodology. Resorting to discrete‐events simulation, the alternatives are verified, correct design choices are identified, and the resources are properly sized to develop a streamlined layout.

Findings

The paper recognises that design and upgrade of intensive material handling systems is a complex task asking for a careful study of alternatives and detailed system analysis, otherwise capacity problems and bottleneck phenomena may not be effectively solved.

Research limitations/implications

This work focuses on a specific case study. The paper, therefore, will be of interest mainly to managers and designers of similar plants and large – intensive material handling systems.

Practical implications

The paper shows how the correct planning and analysis of design alternatives integrated with a detailed system simulation enable a drastic reduction of bottleneck phenomena, thus meeting the required capacity improvement goals when upgrading and redesigning complex and high‐volume material handling systems.

Originality/value

The paper, while providing insights to practitioners engaged in design and management of complex MH&SS, outlines a methodological approach which can be useful when facing major capacity improvement projects.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 19 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article

Retreat of the Critics. The publication, last month, of a series of six main articles on Work Study with an introductory leader in The Financial Times was yet further…

Abstract

Retreat of the Critics. The publication, last month, of a series of six main articles on Work Study with an introductory leader in The Financial Times was yet further proof of the increasing interest and importance accorded by the nation at large to this decisive “tool of management” which has been, until comparatively recent years, the dream of a few, forward‐looking pioneers. During the past year or two, however, increasing references have been made to Work Study on the radio and television, and in the daily press. As The Financial Times points out: “The critical voices seem now to be growing fainter. For example, no less than 800 industrialists from every part of the country attended the recent conference on Work Study at Harrogate, organised by the British Institute of Management.”

Details

Work Study, vol. 3 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article

Muhammad A. Ayub, Ruziyati Tajuddin and Michael R. Jackson

In the garment industry, web lace fabric material must be tensioned and placed at the right position and orientation prior to the cutting process. In order to avoid a…

Abstract

Purpose

In the garment industry, web lace fabric material must be tensioned and placed at the right position and orientation prior to the cutting process. In order to avoid a bottleneck, the speed of material handling must be relatively fast compared to the laser cutting speed so that the use of a laser for rapid prototyping of two‐dimensional (2D) cutting shapes is feasible. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a novel gripping system for handling flexible web materials.

Design/methodology/approach

The manner in which this intelligent material handling system operates will be discussed in this paper. This includes its system configuration, errors that may occur during the web handling operation, and sequential operations of web distortion control. The material handling system uses a machine vision system coupled with a self‐tuning motion control strategy to assist the material handling system in controlling the web tension, adjusting the web deformation parameters and transporting the web materials.

Findings

The online image analysis and a novel mechanical design concept, coupled with the motion controller, are the key issues in the mechatronic integration of this intelligent web‐based material handling system.

Originality/value

The paper presents a novel approach to designing and realizing an intelligent gripping system, which has not previously been attempted.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Babur Ozcelik, Fehmi Erzincanli and Fehim Findik

A non‐contact end‐effector was applied to lift three different materials which have different physical properties. These materials are mica (as rigid material), carton (as…

Abstract

A non‐contact end‐effector was applied to lift three different materials which have different physical properties. These materials are mica (as rigid material), carton (as semi‐rigid material) and non‐rigid material (woven fabric). This end‐effector operates on the principle of generating a high‐speed air flow between nozzles and the specimen surface thereby creating a vacuum which levitates the materials with no mechanical contact. In this paper, the handling results of these materials are compared with each other. The changes in the physical behavior of lifting materials were observed during the experimental work. The effect of the various air flow rates on the non‐contact handling clearance gap between the nozzle and the materials were also investigated. As a result, it was observed that the non‐contact end‐effector could be applied to handle different flat materials.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article

D.G. Proverbs, G.D. Holt and P.E.D. Love

Results of an international investigation concerning the selection of materials handling methods for high rise in‐situ concrete buildings by contractors’ planning…

Abstract

Results of an international investigation concerning the selection of materials handling methods for high rise in‐situ concrete buildings by contractors’ planning engineers in France, Germany and the UK are presented. Findings indicate that materials handling methods differ in each international location. Tower cranes still dominate for high rise in‐situ concrete buildings, although contractors will also frequently utilise concrete pumps in conjunction. Company size has little impact on the materials handling method selected. Eight predominant (construction method) selection factors are identified, and ranked for each international group of contractors. Statistically, the rankings are shown to be almost the same for each country. Relative costs, speed of construction, and site safety are the principal selection criteria. Correlation analysis reveals a degree of association between the selection factors.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 29 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article

THE Fourth European Work Study Congress, held in Paris during the third week of May, was a well‐organized affair. A tribute is due to M. Loubert and his colleagues for the…

Abstract

THE Fourth European Work Study Congress, held in Paris during the third week of May, was a well‐organized affair. A tribute is due to M. Loubert and his colleagues for the way in which they devised such well‐lubricated machinery for the convenience of their guests and for the imaginative touch of holding the official dinner aboard a bateau‐mouche as it sailed for two hours up and down the Seine.

Details

Work Study, vol. 14 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article

STIMULATING the interest of the employee in his job has become one of the most challenging problems facing management today. Daily repetition of tasks seemingly unrelated…

Abstract

STIMULATING the interest of the employee in his job has become one of the most challenging problems facing management today. Daily repetition of tasks seemingly unrelated to the end product can very quickly cause boredom and fatigue, reducing individual efficiency and lowering productivity.

Details

Work Study, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article

Eva Johansson and Mats I. Johansson

This research aims to develop a model for describing and analysing materials supply systems (MSSs) design in product development projects (PDPs).

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to develop a model for describing and analysing materials supply systems (MSSs) design in product development projects (PDPs).

Design/methodology/approach

Literature on materials supply and production systems design is reviewed in order to derive a MSSs design model. The model is applied to empirical data from a qualitative case study, which exemplifies how the model can serve to describe MSSs design in PDPs. Moreover, the model is used to analyse the empirical data related to the focus and characteristics of the design issues.

Findings

The model developed contains six areas: materials feeding, storage, transportation, handling, packaging, and manufacturing planning and control at four levels: supply chain, plant, sub‐unit, and utility.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could complement the model by developing a design process to enable systematic design of the MSS as well as the integration of materials supply aspects at an early stage of PDPs. Such a design process should also consider the design of the flows of specific components.

Practical implications

The importance of considering the relationships between the six design areas as well as evaluating the whole MSS is highlighted.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on the materials supply aspects dealt with in PDPs, which have been the subject of little research interest so far, despite the fact that extensive resources are required for materials supply activities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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