PITA Fiscal Year 2011 Projects

Computational Models And Algorithms For Enterprise-Wide Optimization Of Process Industries

Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: Lawrence V. Snyder, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
PA Industry: Air Products and Chemicals

The U.S. chemical process industry exported 43% of all chemicals manufactured in 2009, representing 12% of all manufactured goods exported. The industry exported $153.4 billion leading to a $2.28 billion surplus. Excluding pharmaceuticals, the trade surplus was $20.3 billion, one of the few industry segments with a positive contribution to the nation's balance of payments. Chemicals are Pennsylvania's leading export industry, with nearly 16 percent of the state’s exports coming from this sector. In the U.S., the industry employs 803,000 people in highly-skilled, high-paying jobs. Due to the increasing pressure to remain competitive in the global marketplace, Enterprise-Wide Optimization (EWO) has become a major goal in this industry as it involves optimizing operations of supply, manufacturing and distribution activities to reduce costs and inventories.

The goal of this proposal to continue in January 1, 2011-June 30, 2012 the successful research work for developing a comprehensive set of computational capabilities for EWO problems. The work is performed by a multidisciplinary team from two institutions in Pennsylvania (Lehigh, Carnegie Mellon), composed of chemical and industrial engineers and operations researchers, working in coordination with ATLSS at Lehigh and ICES at Carnegie Mellon. We are developing novel models, algorithms, decomposition methods, and computational techniques in order to provide a new generation of analytical IT tools to an expanding number of companies. The project involves close collaborations with Pennsylvania companies, Air Products and Chemicals, Dow Chemical (Rohm and Haas), and PPG, and companies with operations in Pennsylvania, ABB, ExxonMobil, Praxair, Total and Unilever. The work involves projects that range from scheduling to planning to modeling and evaluation of polymer products. We meet twice per year, conduct a seminar series that is broadcast to the companies, and publish our results in the webpage http://egon.cheme.cmu.edu/ewocp/. We describe plans of our work for the next year below.