Industrial Engineering

Scott T. Poage Distinguished Lecture Series

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Professor Ronald Askin's lecture is scheduled for 10:00 - 11:00am on February 24 (Room 102D, Engineering Building 1, the 1st floor near the lobby) He will talk about "Integrating Worker and Team Considerations into Manufacturing Cell Formation." Dr. Askin is a Professor and Department chair of Industrial Engineering at Arizona State University.



In recent years, the traditional reductionist approach to scientific management has been replaced by an emphasis on flexibility and recognition of the importance of including entity interactions when modeling systems. In this talk, we examine several issues related to the formation and operation of autonomous teams for manufacturing cells wherein workers must cooperate to complete a set of tasks. We begin with a model for the partitioning of workers into effective teams based on individual skill and behavioral profiles. Descriptive measures are integrated into a mathematical model to determine which individuals should be grouped together and which tasks should be assigned to each individual. Empirical testing shows that the model successfully predicts team performance and good solutions can be obtained with reasonable computational effort. We then discuss the operational issue of dynamic cooperation among workers for completing serial tasks. Recent literature demonstrates that relatively low levels of crosstraining often provide sufficient flexibility to enhance productivity and reduce average flow times. We develop rules for operators to make real-time decisions concerning the sharing of tasks in a serial production line. The rules which require limited cross-training and information, are implemented using a push control mechanism. The rules are shown to provide nearly optimal results for a two-stage line. Simple to implement extensions for longer lines are shown to also perform well.


Bio-sketch for Dr. Ronald G. Askin:

Ronald G. Askin is a Professor and Department Chair of Industrial Engineering at Arizona State University. Dr. Askin received a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, an MS in Operations Research from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Arizona State University, he served on the faculties of the University of Iowa, and the University of Arizona. He has also been a visiting professor at North Carolina State University. Dr. Askin is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), and an active member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He has previously served as President of the INFORMS Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society (MSOM), Chair of the Operation Research Society of America’s Technical Section on Manufacturing Management (TECMAN), and President of the Statistics Division of the American Society for Quality. He has been editor of the IIE Transactions on Design and Manufacturing and also served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Manufacturing Systems and IIE Solutions. He currently serves on the Journals Committee of SME, Vice Chair of the IIE Fellows, and as Past Chair of the Association of Chairs of Operations Research Departments (ACORD). He has authored or co-authored over 80 professional publications, primarily on the application of operations research and statistical methods to the design and analysis of production systems. His current research concentrates on developing integrated models for operational planning including facilities design, production planning, scheduling, material flow, and quality assurance. Other research interests include project management, team formation, and human decision making. Dr. Askin co-authored the texts Modeling and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems (1993) and Design and Analysis of Lean Production Systems (2002), both of which received the IIE Joint Publishers Book of the Year Award (1994 and 2003 respectively). Other awards he has received include the IIE Transactions on Design and Manufacturing Best Paper Award (twice as coauthor), the Shingo Award for Excellence in Manufacturing Research, IIE Transactions Development and Applications Award (coauthor), the ASEE/IIE Eugene L. Grant Award (coauthor), and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. Dr. Askin has consulted with a variety of manufacturing and service industry companies in the areas of scheduling, facilities planning, inventory control, quality improvement, and performance evaluation.