Practical Modeling in Automotive Production

  • Jonathan H. Owen
  • Robert R. Inman
  • Dennis E. Blumenfeld
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 152)


We all want to make a difference. We all want our work to enrich the world. As production planners, we have a great opportunity. Since the industrial revolution, production planning has enabled industry to extract the most from the era’s manufacturing technology. Henry Ford’s assembly line, with its associated production planning, dramatically improved production efficiency. While production planning continues to advance productivity thereby enhancing society’s prosperity and quality of life, the benefits from production systems modeling are often not realized in practice. As noted by the editors, there is a widening gap between research and the needs of industry. The cause is not that the models are not sophisticated enough to capture the complexities of the real world. Neither is it that there is a lack of technology transfer. From our experience in industry, the gap arises from underdeveloped modeling. Underdeveloped modeling is diverting us from making a bigger difference. To impact production, we need models that can be put into practice. Not necessarily simple, but actionable. If a firm cannot act on a model, the model (and its associated solution methodologies) will not enhance the firm’s performance. The authors admit to straying from this advice themselves. But we have learned that models implemented gratify the most. Therefore, we propose that the most fruitful future research direction is practical modeling.


Production Planning Material Handling Part Type Assembly Plant Production Planning Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan H. Owen
    • 1
  • Robert R. Inman
  • Dennis E. Blumenfeld
  1. 1.General Motors CompanyWarrenUSA

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