Designing or improving a manufacturing system involves a series of complex decisions over time to satisfy the strategic objectives of the company. To select the optimal parameters of the system entities so as to achieve the desired overall performance of the system is a very complex task that has been proven to be difficult for a decision maker in the design/improvement process.
One of the major barriers to more efficient decision making in manufacturing is that whilst there is in principle abundant data from various levels of the factory, these data need to be organized and transferred into knowledge suitable for decision-making support. The integration of decision-making support and knowledge management has been identified to be more and more important in both scientific research and from industrial companies, including our collaborating partners.
The concept of deciphering knowledge from multi-objective optimization was first proposed by Deb with the term innovization (innovation via optimization). By integrating the concept of innovization with simulation, a new set of powerful tools can be developed for general systems analysis, particularly suitable for manufacturing systems analysis, in order to support optimal decision making in design and improvement activities. This method is so-called Simulation-based Innovization (SBI), which has been proven to produce promising results in our previous application studies with some of the collaborating partners (VCC and Scania), which could not be achieved by any current industrial practices. Nevertheless, to promote the wider use of such a new method requires the development of an integrated software toolset as well as resolving the related organizational issues in a completely new decision-making framework. The goal of this project is therefore to research and develop such a SBI-based Interactive Decision Support System (IDSS) for supporting decision making support in the manufacturing systems lifecycle in order to contribute to the increase of profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of Swedish manufacturing industries.