PITA Fiscal Year 2009 Projects - Product and Process Design and Optimization

Computational Models and Algorithms for Enterprise-wide Optimization of Process Industries

Principal Investigators: Ignacio E. Grossmann, Lorenz T. Biegler, John Hooker

The process industry is a key industrial sector in the state of Pennsylvania. Enterprise-wide optimization (EWO) has become a major goal in this industry due to the increasing pressure for remaining competitive in the global marketplace. EWO involves simultaneously optimizing the operations of supply, manufacturing and distribution activities to reduce costs and inventories. A major focus in EWO is the scheduling of manufacturing facilities, and their modeling at the proper level of detail. Major operational items include planning, scheduling, real-time optimization and inventory control. A major challenge is the integrated and coordinated decision-making across the various functions in a company (purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, sales), across various geographically distributed organizations (vendors, facilities and markets), and across various levels of decisionmaking (strategic, tactical and operational).

It is the goal of this proposal to continue in the fifth year (July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010) the research work for developing a comprehensive set of computational capabilities for EWO problems. The work is performed by a multidisciplinary team from three institutions of Pennsylvania (Carnegie Mellon, Lehigh, U. Pittsburgh), composed of chemical and industrial engineers, and operations researchers, working in coordination with ICES at Carnegie Mellon and ATLSS at Lehigh. Our group is developing novel models, algorithms, decomposition methods, and computational techniques in order to provide a new generation of analytical IT tools. The project involves close collaborations with Pennsylvania companies, Air Products and Chemicals, Nova Chemicals and PPG, who recently joined, and companies with operations in Pennsylvania, ABB, BP, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Praxair and Total. The work involves projects that range from scheduling to planning to modeling and evaluation of polymer products. We have meetings twice per year, and conduct a popular seminar series that is broadcast to the companies. Our research results are available in the webpage http://egon.cheme.cmu.edu/ewocp/. We describe plans of our work that include efforts to expand industrial internships and recruit additional companies that are based in Pennsylvania.