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Bulk Tank Allocation to Improve Distribution Planning for the Industrial Gas Industry

FarrokhvarLeily Farrokhvar
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Virginia Tech
September 26th, 2014, 2:30 – 3:30 PM
410 John D. Tickle Engineering Building

Leily Farrokhvar is a Ph.D. candidate in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech.  She received her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas and her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.  She has studied operations research with an emphasis on applications in supply chain design and logistics planning.  Her research interests include supply chain and logistics systems modeling and optimization, transportation systems design and analysis, decision support development for emergency preparedness and response, and large scale optimization.  She is a member of INFORMS and IIE and also an active researcher at the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi).

Talk Abstract: An important strategic level decision in the industrial gas industry involves the allocation of bulk gas tanks to customer sites.  The bulk tank allocation problem determines the preferred size of bulk tanks to assign to customer sites in order to minimize tank investment costs and gas distribution costs.  For a single gas product and multiple depots, the problem is modeled as a mixed-integer program and then solved using a decomposition approach which involves a sweep based algorithm for clustering customers and generating delivery routes.  The approach provides valuable decision support for a strategic level decision while incorporating operational level characteristics of the system.  The approach is evaluated using data sets provided by an international industrial gas distributer.

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