E.S.Gel; "Principles for Worksharing Control...", April 2, 13:40,G025
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  • E.S.Gel; "Principles for Worksharing Control...", April 2, 13:40,G025

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Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences





Principles for Worksharing Control in Manufacturing Systems with Cross-trained Workers



Esma S. Gel


Industrial, Systems and Operations Engineering, Arizona State University


Visiting Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, Koc University





The key to a company’s success in today’s highly competitive environment is the ability to react and adapt to unexpected changes quickly and efficiently. This is the fundamental motivation for keeping some form of buffer capacity and/or enabling flexibility of various resources in a production system. Such approaches are increasingly being grouped under the term agile manufacturing, an integral component of which is the use of flexible (i.e., cross-trained) workers.


Recent years have seen a drastic increase in the volume of work addressing workforce issues. In this talk, we present a number of descriptive and prescriptive stochastic models that (i) improve our understanding of how worksharing systems behave and what factors drive performance of full and partial cross-training of workers, and (ii) help us determine what types of control strategies are effective in different production environments. Through these models, we demonstrate the performance improvement opportunity that worker flexibility presents for production systems through capacity balancing and variability buffering. We emphasize the importance of using effective operational control policies, and present broadly applicable principles on the control of worksharing among cross-trained workers. Such principles will also include some guidelines on the design and operation of bucket brigade lines that operate through the use of a set of local worksharing rules.




Esma S. Gel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial, Systems and Operations Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1995 and 1999, respectively. Dr. Gel is the recipient of the 2008 Hamid K. Eldin Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers. Her research focuses on the use of applied probability techniques for management and design of production systems and supply chains. Some of her recent work has been on workforce agility and management, bucket brigade mode of production, dynamic pricing and lead time quotation, multiple criteria decision making applications, and impact of data quality problems on supply chain performance. Dr. Gel has presented her work in national and international conferences, and published extensively in leading archival journals of her area. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as several industrial companies such as Intel, IBM and Infineon. Dr. Gel is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and the Institute for Industrial Engineers (IIE).



Thursday, April 2nd, 2009, 13:30-14:30,  FENS G025