Research Topic

Manufacturing Networks

Nowadays end-users demand high variety and custom-engineered products. To be able to respond to these demands and stay competitive, a smart design and control of high-mix low-volume manufacturing systems is critical. This becomes possible by the rapidly increasing amount of real-time sensor and production data that can be shared among products and production resources, thus creating an Internet of Things. It facilitates the optimization of a factory as a whole: instead of sub-optimizing production units and processes separately, we can create flexible, intelligent and even autonomous manufacturing networks. The manufacturing research line aims at making this vision a reality.

We conduct research in topics such as:

  • Data-driven models that combine prediction and optimization to improve operational KPIs
  • Automated planning and scheduling mechanisms to interlink and control manufacturing operations, maintenance and material handling
  • Optimized bio-manufacturing systems to enable cheaper and faster access to next-generation drugs

In these topics, research methodologies are used such as simulation, stochastic modeling and analysis, Markov decision processes, linear and nonlinear optimization techniques, data-mining, artificial intelligence and statistical techniques.

Research projects

Current projects include:

  • AML – Advanced manufacturing logistics
    to realize an advanced (automated) manufacturing logistics system at the Brainport Industries Campus for a 24/7 pay-per-use support system in the Factory of the Future.
  • SNAP - Smart network for optimal planning
    to automate, integrate and optimize the planning processes of back-end operations at Nexperia
  • OUTPUT - optimal utilization through planning and production intelligence 
    to optimize material flows of front-end operations at Nexperia
  • OPT-BIOMAN - Modeling and optimization of bio-manufacturing operations
    to reduce fermentation costs and lead times at MSD (see video)
  • RARE - Optimization models for pharmaceutical industry
    to improve affordability and accessibility to rare disease therapeutics
  • Optimizing poultry processing operations
    at Marel Stork

Meet some of our researchers