Simulation-based optimization for material handling systems in manufacturing and distribution industries

  • Chris S. K. Leung
  • Henry Y. K. Lau


Faced with rising customer expectations, shortening product life cycle and increasing number of competitors, many companies are paying increasing attention to streamline their operations with a view to improving the timeliness in response to changes and demands in their supply chains. Material handling is a vital element of the supply chains, which involves a variety of operations including the movement, storage, protection and control of materials and products throughout the processes of manufacturing and distribution. Having efficient material handling systems is of great importance to these industries for maintaining and facilitating a continuous flow of materials through the workplace and guaranteeing that required materials are available when needed. In this paper, we apply a simulation-based optimization framework for solving several real-life single objective and multi-objective optimization problems. The results reveal that the simulation-based optimization framework could become an effective decision making tool for solving both single and multi-objective optimization problems in manufacturing and distribution industries and help management to find near-optimal system parameters to fulfill important objectives.


Artificial immune system Artificial intelligence Material handling system Optimization Simulation 



This article is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled “A Multi-objective Simulation-based Optimization Approach applied to Material Handling System” presented at the 2nd EAI International Conference on Computer Science and Engineering (COMPSE 2018), Furama Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, March 2018. All authors have seen and approved the manuscript and have contributed significantly for the paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems EngineeringThe University of Hong KongPok Fu LamChina

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