Decision support for the design of a new production plant using visual interactivesimulation

Patrick Y.K. Chau, Peter C. Bell

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Following promising results in test markets and successful pilot-scale manufacturing, the Board of a major Canadian manufacturer took the decision to proceed to develop the design for a full-scale production plant for a new advanced-technology product. The success of this new product was seen as critical to the Company’s future, but Company personnel had limited experience with the new production technology and with the design of plants of this large scale. Finally, competitors from the USA and Europe were known to be working on similar products resulting in a sense of urgency in getting the product to the marketplace. A visual interactive decision support system built around a simulation model was developed using a methodology designed to help management understand the plant design issues and to help them resolve various key plant design options. When completed, the model gave management a tool which was used to analyse alternative plant designs and different production and manpower scheduling scenarios under a broad range of production conditions. The intensity of worldwide competition in this new product market, and the critical importance of this product to this Canadian corporation, have led to the decision to omit the name of the corporation from this article. In addition, certain production details have been disguised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1284
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision support systems
  • Methodology
  • Visual interactive simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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