American University of Beirut

Final Year Projects


Final Year Projects 2022-2023

  • Sultan Al Salem, Marc Choueiry, Edward El Boustany,  Talal El Dandachli, Yasmina Marj – “Waste Management and Optimization of the Production Lines at Sanita ​​​"​​

The initiative that is being carried out is in collaboration with Sanita, a Lebanese self-care company that is known for its production of tissues, wet wipes, and diapers, in addition to multiple different product lines for people of all ages. However, a major problem that was identified in one of its production facilities is the large defective rates of tissues and toilet paper, key products of Sanita. The company is dealing with poor waste management, which is caused by high defective rates in their product line. A great deal of causes led to the increase in defective products, including faulty sealing, incorrect number of tissue papers in a specific box and so on. The goal of this project is to create a new and improved system that can tackle these issues accordingly and minimize defective products, in addition to increasing overall efficiency of the assembly line, thus providing a much smoother system. Lean Six Sigma is the preferred method to implementing proper changes to the system, specifically through the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) process. The manufacturing system was thoroughly examined, and various measurements were obtained and analyzed using control charts, hypothesis testing, simulation, linear programming and other mathematical and engineering tools until an improved system was developed. Moreover, a simulation model and a statistical software will be used to test the implemented improvements. This new model will minimize the waste generation of the toilet paper assembly line and will enhance the efficiency of the manufacturing operations. In this report, we explain the detailed approach we used to meet the project's goals.​

  • Habib Danial, Norman El Chahni, Andrew Gharghour, Elie Moukarzel, Adriana Rebeiz– “Optimization of NokNok: Online Grocery Delivery Service​​​​"​​ 

NokNok is a Lebanese startup company operating in the quick grocery delivery industry. Since its launch, NokNok has achieved significant success by positioning itself as a delivery app that prides itself on delivering orders within a remarkable 15-minute timeframe from the moment of order placement. However, it has come to our attention that this claim was not consistently met. Our focus throughout the year was on enhancing the efficiency of one of NokNok's busiest warehouses, located in Badaro, which currently handles the packing and delivery of an average of 600 orders per day. We identified three key areas for improvement: inventory management, facilities planning, and quality control. These areas aimed to address issues such as out-of-stock item complaints, inefficient warehouse management, and delays in order processing, which led to a significant increase in customer complaints. In terms of inventory management, we proposed an optimal ordering policy by utilizing a combination of Newsvendor, order-up-to, and EOQ model ordering policies for different item categories. To address layout inefficiencies, we employed the Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) method to suggest a more streamlined layout plan. In tackling latency issues and customer complaints, we implemented Six Sigma concepts and recommended two improvements. Through the analysis of a substantial sample of customer complaints, we identified three main trends: orders with missing or defective items, and delays in delivery. Following the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process, we developed an Out-of-Control Action Plan (OCAP) model to handle orders with missing or defective items. Additionally, we suggested two improvements for addressing late orders. The first improvement focused on optimizing the number of pickers by providing an optimal schedule for picker allocation in the warehouse at all times. Regarding the second improvement related to picking distance, we conducted experiments using various route optimization algorithms. Our findings indicated that for orders with fewer than 5 departments, all algorithms produced similar results. However, when dealing with orders containing five or more departments, the Savings method algorithm proved to yield the most optimal route. These optimizations aim to enhance NokNok's operational processes and provide a higher level of customer satisfaction. By implementing these improvements, NokNok can strengthen its position as a preferred grocery delivery service in Lebanon.​

  • Batol Al Ghafari, Nagham El Hallak, Ahmad El Saadi, Pierre Nassar, Kevin Tannous– “Naggiar Metal Optimization​​​"​​​ 

Naggiar Metals is a metal supplier established in 1860 that provides metal work services, including bending, laser cutting, CNC punching, etc. across Lebanon. Naggiar conducts its metal sheets fabrication services in their Service Center, located in Quarantina. Their warehouse is located in Ghazieh (south of Lebanon) where most of the inventory is stored. The company needs to optimize operations in several fields, mainly: facility planning, ergonomics and safety, and inventory control and transportation, as well as information system. During our project, we used several IE tools and techniques to formulate specific problems and identify initiatives to solve them. Up until last semester, we progressed in two primary areas of focus: inventory planning, and facility layout design. In this report, we present key results for this semester, including an engineering economy analysis to complete the facility planning study, the design of a new information system, and an ergonomic study of the workspace. All in all, our project can be summed up by improvements in four main areas: First, we were able to decrease Naggiar’s transportation costs by 40%. Second, by designing a new layout, we were able to create two new areas for scrap and WIP, and to decrease inefficiencies and improve workflow. Third, workers’ safety, wellbeing, and productivity has been increased by implementing the ergonomics recommendations. Fourth, data handling has been eased for Naggiar’s data management team by designing an MS Access database. Interactions with Naggiar are also detailed. Furthermore, we made sure all the necessary steps were taken to roll off the project as smoothly as possible.

  • Joy Bechara, Rachel El Hajjar, Lucie Marie Gebrael, Nareg Panossian, Joseph Soueidy – “Optimization of Arcenciel’s Hospital Waste Treatment Center ​​"

Arcenciel is a Lebanese non-profit NGO that provides support to Lebanon’s most underprivileged and marginalized communities. Among its multiple areas of work, Arcenciel holds the largest treatment operations for Infectious Healthcare Waste (IHCW) in Lebanon, with its biggest treatment center being in Beirut. If not managed properly, IHCW presents a risk of infection to patients, healthcare personnel, and the general public. Recently, this risk escalated further due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after which the amount of IHCW generated daily in Lebanon almost doubled. Thus, it is crucial to optimize the Arcenciel Hospital Waste Treatment Center’s operations to mitigate the increase in IHCW generation. In fact, the Beirut treatment center requires optimization in several fields of its operations, including data management, ergonomics and worker training, facility planning and optimizing cost expenditures. To accomplish this, we will pinpoint specific problems to tackle using a variety of Industrial Engineering tools and techniques. The solutions will require the use of software, various strategies for data collection, algorithms and computations, and specified equipment. During the fall semester, we worked on two primary areas of focus: the routes and cost optimization of the waste transportation by leveraging the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (CVRP), and the inventory planning of essential material and equipment on which Arcenciel’s operations depend using the Lot-Size-Reorder Point Systems method with stochastic demand. As for the Spring semester, we worked on digitalizing the waste tracking form, ergonomically optimizing the workers’ tasks, applying facilities planning and evaluating the feasibility of sustainable alternatives. We present sections on methods, models, and results, as well as our interactions with Arcenciel, while touching on challenges faced and planning for the future through a revised timeline.

  • Marwan Mroueh, Leila Sukkar, Marie Yared – “Improving the Operations of Benta Pharmaceuticals ​​"

The economic crisis in Lebanon has resulted in a severe shortage of medication due to the state's inability to provide aid for essential imports, leaving many citizens without necessary medication. BPI, a Lebanese pharmaceutical company, aims to manufacture pharmaceutical products and medical devices. This project's primary goal is to optimize BPI's production process for Bisocor and Paracetamol, the cheapest and most in-demand medications, and meet their monthly demand. The study began by collecting data on the production process, machines, processing times, and batch capacity. Then, a model was constructed on Arena, representing the actual production process, while machine utilization rates were obtained using work sampling and machine fractions calculated to determine the optimal number needed. Simulation was used to verify the results. The packaging process was also analyzed through a time study to identify unnecessary motion and delays affecting the workflow. Lean Manufacturing tools, such as Kanban, were used to improve communication between departments. Python was employed to forecast demand for 2023 and 2024 for inventory analysis, and inventory modelling codes were used to minimize BPI's total costs. Agile management was implemented in a pilot area at BPI, resulting in a 15.4% improvement in the OEE. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis was conducted to determine the most profitable solutions for BPI since implementing all of them was not feasible.

  • Christian Allam, Clara Dagher, Hassan Jichi, Mia Kamal, Patrick Salameh – “Optimizing Efficiency and Effectiveness of Beesline’s and Transportation Systems ​​"​

Beesline’s journey started in 1992 with scientist-siblings wanting to create an all-natural safe and hypo-allergenic cream to cure their mother’s harsh skin reaction. A year later, it was founded, and soon enough, their first product was born and quickly achieved great success: the beeswax lip care. Since then, after 30 years of pioneering clean formulations, Beesline counts more than 170 team members and the natural skincare brand is present in over 22 countries, spread over 6 continents. Beesline aims to propose the highest quality care, to solve the most difficult skin problems, by offering different product lines for every type of skin or needed results (Beesline, 2017). They base their products on the science of apitherapy, which uses materials derived from natural bee products, and they provide consumers with a powerful alternative to chemical cosmetics manufactured by multinationals. Beesline has been facing the pain of a lack of a good transportation system for its internal operations between its warehouses. This issue has led to several consequences for the company, including delays in transferring products between its locations, increased transportation costs, and difficulties in maintaining adequate inventory levels. These challenges ultimately affect the company's production capacity and operational efficiency. Improving the transportation system is necessary for Beesline to overcome these challenges and maintain its growth in the market, both locally and internationally. A better transportation system would lead to more efficient and timely transfer of products between warehouses, lower transportation costs, and the ability to better manage inventory levels. Therefore, during this semester, our team focused improving the transportation operations within the warehouses of Beesline. Our objective is to increase efficiency while minimizing costs. We 5 started by using linear programming, a mathematical optimization technique, to determine the optimal number of trips between the packing material warehouses, the central production warehouse, and the finished product warehouse.

  • Alec Acaf, Denise Attoue, Kristy Salamoun, Mikael Breiss, and Nour Pharaon  – “Optimization of Hopital Hayek ​​"​

In Lebanon, the health sector has been severely affected by a range of factors including the economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deadly explosion that destroyed parts of the country. As industrial engineers, we recognized our responsibility to improve systems and make them more efficient, especially in the medical sector. We chose to work with Hopital Hayek, a private hospital located in Sin El Fil, Lebanon, to improve their facility planning, scheduling process, quality control, and explore the feasibility of implementing solar panels. During the first part of the project, we analyzed and enhanced the hospital's facility planning, focusing on the emergency room and patient rooms. We proposed the implementation of an automated distribution system and the digitalization of the patient information-taking process. We also recommended rearranging the disposition of the patient rooms to reduce noise levels and eliminate backtracking, significantly increasing efficiency. We then worked on improving the hospital’s nurse scheduling process by transforming it from manual to automated. For the second part of the project, we conducted quality control research to track the supply of drugs and medical equipment from suppliers. We followed the DMAIC process and identified the three main issues affecting the hospital: long delivery times, inaccurate orders, and damaged/defective products. We recommended that the hospital works with suppliers to optimize delivery scheduling and routing, improve packaging accuracy, and invest in training programs for staff to handle products properly.​

  • Yara Abi Saab, Nour Chaghoury, Zeina Farhat, Jennifer Ghaleb,  Ghida Zaatari  – “Optimization of PepsiCo Factory in Lebanon ​​"​

SMLC is a bottling company founded in Lebanon that introduced Pepsi to the Lebanese market in 1952 becoming the first franchisee in the Levant area. Over the years, it expanded its product line and included Miranda, 7up, Tropicana, Aquafina, Lipton as well as other brands. Today, the company has the highest market share in carbonated soft drinks and is a member of the Pepsi chairman’s club. Their main production facility is in Choueifat, Lebanon and is the core of our project; we will also be looking at their central warehouse for finished products. This study comprises three main parts. Firstly, we will assess the environmental impact of replacing PET bottles with aluminum cans. Secondly, we will optimize the finished products warehouse by utilizing the SLP method and analyzing the human factors involved. Lastly, we will evaluate the e-commerce platform of the company and propose sales and marketing strategies through data analytics and inventory and replenishment systems. Our objective is to suggest improvements that will enhance the efficiency of SMLC PepsiCo's finished products warehouse and boost their e-commerce sales. To achieve this, we will use various Industrial Engineering tools and techniques supported by data collection and software analysis. 

  • Lynn Zeineddine, Christian Boustany, Lama Fakher,  Zeina Chatila, Salam Afiouni  – “Optimizing Benta Pharma Industries’ Operations ​​"​
This project discusses the efforts made towards optimizing production and improving the operations at Benta Pharma Industries (BPI) to meet the increasing demand for its products amidst the persistent economic crisis in Lebanon. The country's reliance on local production has put significant pressure on companies like BPI to meet the demand while staying profitable as costs have also been increasing. The report outlines the focus on facilities planning and simulation to suggest solutions fo​r improving operations and ensuring BPI can meet the growing demand while meeting international standards. The simulation will compare several improvement alternatives, including automation, to recommend the best course of action, while the facilities planning analysis will restructure the layout of BPI’s production factory to make it more efficient and effective. The report presents a comprehensive analysis of the work done on these two topics, highlighting the significance of continuously improving BPI's operations to meet the rising demand profitably. The analysis conducted showcased the importance of the automation of primary and secondary packaging by installing automatic feeders and pickers, as well as considering the implementation of predictive maintenance in the production process. Regarding facilities planning, BPI should rearrange its production floor according to the layout proposed by the modified SLP method. 

  • Ralph Hadchity, William Khalife, Chloe Maatouk,  Sara Sabra, Lea Samia  – “Optimizing the wine-making process at Chateau Ksara ​​"​

Lebanon possesses around 46 wineries, including big-scale, medium, and smaller producers. It is considered one of the world's oldest sites of wine production. The wine-making tradition in Lebanon goes back to the Phoenician times, around 1500BC, which is why we should preserve it at all costs. Moreover, Lebanon enjoys historical, powerful, international, and trans-oceanic commerce when it comes to wine. The country is a net exporter of wine and has consistently recorded a trade surplus until 2020. A recent report noted that Lebanon's acclaimed wine industry is in danger. Despite ambitious plans to expand and increase exports of the reputed Lebanese wine internationally, the wine industry in Lebanon is suffering the severe repercussions of the worsening economic crisis that has been ravaging the country over the last two years. With the spread of the coronavirus, the local currency continues to lose more than 90% of its value compared with the US dollar. Lebanon is witnessing every single product consumed in the country's price spike. As a result of the increase in procurement costs of raw materials used in manufacturing, such as fertilizers, bottles, corks, labels, barrels, and packaging, local wine producers, such as Chateau Ksara, are struggling to maintain profit. Winemakers face two bitter options: either raise their prices, knowing that it will significantly reduce their sales, or have to cut their profit range, eventually killing their business. However, zooming out of Lebanon and looking into global trends, we realize that the pandemic positively impacted the wine industry. During lockdowns, the closure of most bars and restaurants drove the increase of online sales of wines by around 234% in 2020. During the quarantine period's peak, sales continued to increase, making the wine market a very dynamic market. The contrast between Lebanon's situation and the world's situation pushed us to look deeper into this topic.​

Final Year Projects 2021-2022

  • Abdulrahman Hashem, Anna Maria Khoury, Lea Bou Salman, Joseph Melki, Zaid Ghannam​​ – “Improving the OEE Score of Masterpak’s Printing Section  ​​​"​​


In this study, industrial engineering principles are applied to Masterpak, a company specializing in extrusion, printing, and bag conversion. To counteract the printing backlog, the aim of the study is to increase the printing section’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) score which was measured to be 29.49%, much lower than industry standards. It highlights a two-semester-long journey of identifying causes behind downtime and waste that put a strain on availability, performance, and quality. This study has utilized the Six Sigma tools such as fish bone diagram, Voice of Customer (VOC), Pareto charts, and control charts as well as discrete event simulation methods. In principle, to tackle the issue of quality control, the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) process was utilized to pinpoint the assignable cause behind out-of-control defect rates and were consequently resolved through relevant suggestions. Discrete event simulation was also utilized to counteract observed operator inefficiency and some planning issues. Causes were identified and action plans were implemented which resulted in an overall theoretical increase of the OEE by 12%. This framework proves that manufacturing problems can have simple feasible solutions, and a list of recommendations was drawn up. If executed efficiently and accurately, the proposed solutions will yield profitable returns to the company. 

  • ​​​Lea Nasr, Maria Nasr, Rayan Tannir ​​​ – “ Optimization​ of Metelec Production Line ​​​"​​​​

​Matelec is an internationally known manufacturing company whose activities are
based in Lebanon, but exports its products through Africa, the Middle East and Europe and
produces a wide range of ele​ctrical equipment. Our study focuses on the assembly process of
low voltage switchboards, which are the most ordered products of the company. With the
ultimate goal of helping the company optimize and better the mentioned process, we have
focused our study on three main facets of the process: assembly line balancing, ergonomics,
and work environment, as well as scrap reduction.In the first part of the study, our goal was to improve the efficiency of the assembly line so Matelec would stop failing to meet project deadlines. To do so, we applied and solved an “Assembly Line Worker Assignment and Balancing Problem” (ALWABP), which aims to find the best worker repartition and schedule to optimize the cycle time. After thorough research, we developed two algorithms that output an optimal worker schedule. The first one finds the task allocation that minimizes the number of workers needed to achieve the desired deadline and the other one minimizes the cycle time while using as many workers as needed (up to the maximum limit). We obtained two different suggestions: meeting the deadline by following a specific worker allocation and using the minimum number of workers (7 workers), or reducing the cycle time from 9,5 months to 5,56 months with the actual number of workers at Matelec working on this process. A discussion with our company partner, the manager of the hangar, Mr. Savio Al Aam, made it clear to us that Matelec would find the second option more attractive since it is a competition-driven company, ready to undertake as many projects as
possible. As for this report, which constitutes the second half of our study, focuses mainly
on reducing the high wire scrap quantity generated by this process, and improving work
conditions by reducing the time of transportation of heavy equipment, and applying ergonomic
principles to evaluate tasks we deemed might potentially cause injuries to workers, and redesign
them if necessary. Finally, a complete financial study that includes all our improvements will
be presented to Matelec.

  • ​​Maria Antoun, Pascal Bellan, Celine Dibo, Jad Issa, Sophie Madi ​​​ – “Red Cross Center Optimization​  ​​​"​​​

The Lebanese Red Cross is an NGO (non-governmental organizations) that provides emergency assistance and disaster relief across Lebanon. The Gemmayzeh center covers a large part of Beirut. However, its operations have been affected by the Beirut Port Blast and the COVID-19 crisis. With the increased demand for its support, the center needs to optimize operations in several fields, mainly: inventory planning, ergonomics and training, scheduling, as well as reducing response time to emergencies. During our project, we refer to many IE tools and techniques to identify specific issues according to the needs of the Lebanese Red Cross, then devise detailed steps to solve them. Over the Spring, we focus further on ergonomics, facilities planning, and simulation of volunteer response time to emergencies. We present the final results of the semester including our final recommendations for the Red Cross​.​

  • Nicole Abi Saad, Maya Awada, Roa Barrage, Nagham Bou Daher, Marwa El-Ajouz – “Reducing the Waiting Time of Patients to be Admitted ​from the Emergency Departement​​​​ at AUBMC to the Hospital"

​​​Emergency departments in hospitals are characterized by complex processes that include interconnected flows of people, materials, and information. Often, these processes are subject to high variability due to the numerous inputs and stakeholders involved in the proper functioning of the system. Consequently, ensuring adherence to quality and healthcare standards can make the difference between a decent and excellent level of care, which usually translates to more lives saved (Balcom & Reyes, 2019). The American University Medical Center (AUBMC), considered the leading healthcare institution in the country, has deeply suffered from the country’s economic crisis, which led to staffing and medicine shortages due to the inability to import materials, and caregivers fleeing the country for better opportunities abroad. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the strain on the overwhelmed medical system which is still recovering from the impact of the virus. The overflow of patients into the ED and the decrease in medical personnel has created a suboptimal admissions process where patients may wait up to 24 hours to be assigned a hospital bed. Between 2019 and 2021 the percentage of patients who wait for more than 24 hours increased by 1% to 10%. As a result of the high variability in the ED boarding times, our project focuses on addressing this issue using the Lean Six Sigma methodology. We will apply the DMAIC process to tackle process variability and identify root causes and suggest improvements by applying Lean principles and machine learning. We will follow a two-part approach where we tackle both the admissions and discharges since they are closely related. Our study begins with a general system description, followed by a more detailed understanding of the processes involved and our project scope. We move on to the data collection methodology before proceeding with the bulk of our analysis which involves analyzing the system and identifying root causes. Finally, we conclude with our proposed solutions along with a brief feasibility and control plan tailored to each solution. We look back on our study in the final discussion and talk about limitations and future work.

  • ​​​​​​Anthonio Choucair, Bernard Khawan, Karim Riman, Michelle Baaklini,​ Yara Fares​ – “Improving the Customer’s Banking Experience and Optimizing the Bank's Operations and C​osts​"

Functional banking systems constitute one of the pillars supporting modern economies, stable or growing. Growing beyond its original intent of safekeeping one's wealth, banks have become institutions with the power to regulate the distribution of wealth and stimulate economies. Owing to the long-standing political instability, recently coupled with the prevailing economic crisis and pandemic outbreak in Lebanon, demand for banking services has rapidly and strikingly risen. Unfortunately, when demand mismatches supply, customers face the consequences and grow frustrated. Discrete event simulation facilitates the modeling of present and potential systems for a timely and economic analysis of KPIs. Discrete event simulation was used to facilitate the modeling of the call center operations as well as to measure some key performance metrics. Arena was employed and the simulation was applied on the proposed and actual training programs, which showed that the resource utilization of tellers is reduced by half thanks to the better trained employees, therefore reducing the need for half of the staff in the call center. We also suggested the implementation of a smart chatbot in the application as well as the website of the bank which was also proven to be less costly when compared to the current situation in terms of long term cost of wages while also ensuring lower chance of bottlenecks, waiting times, lower proportion of unanswered requests, and therefore higher customer satisfaction. Discrete event simulation was also employed on the proposed solution which showed that the resource utilization of tellers is reduced by 10% thanks to the facilitated operations and help provided by the chatbot, therefore reducing the need for part of the staff in the call center.​​​

  • Amine Arayssi Naji Arnous Tamara El Koussa Rime Hamadeh Cyprien Nshimiyimana​​ – “Improving Beesline’s E-commerce Warehousing System​​"​

Fueled by changing lifestyles, new technologies, and unprecedented events such as covid-19, the ever-growing e-commerce’s dominance of the retail industry represents a paradigm shift in the way businesses interact with their customers. These dynamics provide lucrative incentives for businesses to tap more into the online market. Beesline, a Lebanese cosmetics company, wishes to expand its e-commerce operations to accommodate its increasing online demand. In fact, in our past progress report, tackled three key areas: ABC XYZ classification for, demand forecasting and space requirement. We used our analytical conclusions from these topics to tackle new objectives for our final report: warehouse location analysis, replenishment system, order-picking technique as well as delivery system analysis. First, we studied the company’s e-commerce warehouse location alternatives using the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis method to select the best location. Second, we approached the replenishment system optimization by leveraging the ABC XYZ classification, and using established replenishment policies, such as probabilitized EOQ and (s,S) policies. Third, we conducted experiments with four order-picking heuristics and compared them based on the average pick time. Finally, we conducted a cost-benefit analysis to compare three delivery system alternatives which are the Third-Party Logistics (3PL), vertical integration, and outsourced last mile delivery. Our results reveal that Beesline should locate their e-commerce warehouse in the Achrafieh warehouse we selected within the greater Beirut area. For the replenishment system, we selected personalized replenishment policies including the probabilitized EOQ, the (s,S) policy, and the three-months multiplier method depending on the ABC XYZ product classification. Moreover, our experiments revealed that the shortest-to-shortest order picking method outperforms other alternatives. Finally, our cost-benefit analysis yielded that vertical integration is the most cost-effective delivery system.​

  • Elena El Chammas, Melissa Chalhoub, Tala El Zouheiri, Rani El Kantari, Tara Shantouf​ – “ Optimize BPI’s Production P​rocess for Bisoprolol, Metformin and Paracetamol​​"​

Lebanon is facing a dire shortage in medicine since the cash-strapped state struggles to provide aid on key imports causing an almost complete halt in shipments of necessities. This economic crisis has led the pharmacists to run out of essential drugs and has left many citizens in need of medication. BPI is a Lebanese pharmaceutical company that is committed to manufacturing pharmaceutical products as well as medical devices. This project’s main objective is to optimize BPI’s production process for Bisoprolol, Metformin and Paracetamol, the cheapest and most demanded medications, and satisfy their monthly demand. We started our study by collecting data regarding the production process, machines, processing times and batches capacity. Then, we constructed a model on Arena that adequately represents the actual production process, a work sampling to obtain machine utilization rates and calculated the machine fractions to determine the optimal number needed and verified our results using the simulation. We conducted a time study for the packaging process which allowed us to identify unnecessary motion and delays that affect the workflow. Moreover, we applied Lean Manufacturing tools such as Kanban that improved the communication between departments. As well, we performed inventory analysis by forecasting the demand for 2023 and 2024 using python and implemented LP to minimize BPI’s total costs. We performed a manufacturing analysis which proved that a make-to-order system with reduced service times and increased availability will yield better results at BPI than their make-to-stock system at the moment. Additionally, we implemented the pillars of total productive maintenance on a pilot area at BPI which led to an improvement of 2.9% of the OEE. Finally, we computed a cost benefit analysis in order to determine which solutions would be the most profitable for BPI as implementing all them wouldn’t be feasible. ​​

  • Ghassan Hage, Issam Al Haffar, Jamal Selwan,​​ Joseph Azzi,​ Kate Mchayleh​​ – “ Improve Dipndip Customer Experience​​"​

Dipndip is a chocolate café in which shareholders and owners aim for one vision, becoming the number one chocolate café in t​he world. Currently, dipndip does not only provide premium chocolate but also allows its customers to enjoy a truly theatrical experience, through commodities such as drizzling chocolate from a height to create drama and anticipation. However, in our day and time, the above dream cannot be fulfilled if dipndip continues to restrict its operations to the form of an in-house café. This being said, the concept of “Dip at Home”, dipndip retail was introduced. We started our project by conducting an economic feasibility study. The study confirmed that the initiation of an Ice Cream Factory for dipndip in Egypt is feasible and economically profitable as per the Monte Carlo Simulation. We then designed our Ice Cream product prototype based on market and user research. We also performed an inventory plan analysis to carefully generate the optimal production plan. Furthermore, we tackled the manufacturing aspect of the project through different Industrial Engineering tools; we constructed a model on ARENA that represents the manufacturing process to analyze our manufacturing system and validate our production capabilities. Additionally, we conducted an inventory plan. We designed the optimal facility layout by comparing different layouts generated from three different algorithms, choosing the one with the smallest total cost. Finally, we accounted for ergonomic elements to be implemented in the factory to avoid workers' injuries while simultaneously increasing their efficiency.​

  • Thierry Abdel Massih, Haya Al Zaatari, Jad Khalaf, Rami Hafez,​ Reem Rayes​​ – “ Waste Management of the Production Line at Fantasia ​​​"​​

This initiative is being carried out in collaboration with Fantasia, a Lebanese food processing company that specializes in the production of flavored potato chips. Several difficulties with the production of salted natural potato chips, one of their hallmark products, have been detected. Food waste is produced at a rate that exceeds Fantasia's permitted norms in the making of this potato chip. In addition, inefficiencies are discovered during the manufacturing process. They are characterized mostly by a high amount of manual inspection, which overwhelms line employees and produces bottlenecks. The goal of the project is to create a new system that tackles these issues and solves them as much as possible. The enhanced system would be built to eliminate waste on the production line while also increasing overall efficiency. The Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) phases of the Lean Six Sigma approach are followed. The manufacturing system was thoroughly examined, and various measurements were obtained and analyzed using control charts, hypothesis testing, simulation, and other mathematical and engineering tools until several system proposals were developed. We will compare these improvement models and make a recommendation based on our findings. This model includes optimizing the workers' shift time and choosing the best frying oil parameters. Moreover, a simulation model will be used to test this new system. This model would reduce employee workload and lower long-term production costs for Fantasia. In this report, we explain the detailed approach we used to meet the project's goals. ​

​​Final Year Projects 2020-2021

  • Yara Ammach, Maya Awada, Roa Barrage, Nagham Bou Daher, Marwa El-Ajouz – “Waste Management and Optimization of Production Lines at Gandour​​​​"

This project is conducted in partnership with Gandour, a Lebanese food processing company which mainly manufactures confectionary products. Several issues related to the production process of the Dabke biscuit, one their flagship products, are identified. During manufacturing of this biscuit, food wastes are produced at rates above Gandour's acceptable levels. In addition to this, during the production process, inefficiencies are detected. They are characterized mainly by the amount of Work-in-Progress (WIP) biscuits that overwhelm the workers on the line and cause bottlenecks. The project's objective is to develop a new system that addresses these problems. The improved system would be designed in a way to reduce wastes generated at the production line by 5%, decrease WIP by 10% and increase overall efficiency.Lean Six Sigma methodology, structured with the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) phases, is followed. The production system was studied thoroughly and different measurements were taken and analyzed using control charts, hypothesis testing, simulation and other mathematical and engineering tools until we came up with different system suggestions. We then compared these improvement models and accordingly, recommended one of them. This model incorporates decreasing the workers' shift duration and repairing wrapping machines used in the system. This new system has been tested using a simulation model that showed a 9.61% reduction in defect rate. Implementing this model would reduce employee workload and decrease Gandour's long-term production costs. In this paper, we present the detailed approach we have adopted in order to achieve the project's objectives.​​

  • Assem Abou Ali, Jad Atweh, Charbel Bou Younes, Ahmad Shmayssani – “​Enhancing AUBMC’s EMR In-Basket Messages System Aiming to Optimize Clinical Workflow​​​​​​"

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) improve the quality of patient care by allowing medical personnel to record, store, and share patient health records more efficiently and securely. As the volume of big data in healthcare increases, EMRs, and other technologies have become critical components of a healthcare facility’s infrastructure. This project’s main objective was to reduce the time spent working on in-basket tasks on the EMR at the American University Medical Center’s (AUBMC) Family Medicine Department. Interviews and observations were used to understand the EMR workflow at AUBMC. Surveys were designed to collect data on medical personnel’s perceptions of AUBMC’s EMRs. Experiments were conducted to measure healthcare worker response times to in-basket messages. These experiments’ results were analyzed using a multiple linear regression model (MLR) and an ordinal logistic regression (OLR) model. The results obtained by the MLR model show that satisfaction and training significantly impact the response times of both nurses and physicians. In addition, the OLR model’s results show that satisfaction is significantly affected by interface design problems and perceived mental activity. The identified resources that HCWs need to use the in-basket more effectively were then identified using NVivo. These findings and other insights from our conducted time studies, descriptive statistics, and correlation analysis, allowed us to design user interface features following reputable design principles from the literature. This project’s results optimize AUBMC’s EMR-related workflow and provides guidance for future practitioners when faced similar problems. The limitations and proposed future work were also presented at the end of this report.​​

  • Marc Gholmieh, Joy Haddad, Nour Mouaness and Dina Yassine – “​Rehabilitation of the Governmental Bus Fleet ​​​​​​"

With the public transportation sector in Lebanon being characterized by inefficiency,
ineffectiveness and unreliability, we have decided to undertake the reformation of the governmental bus fleet as our Final Year Project. Optimizing this bus network will not only give citizens a dependable mode of transit, but also have tremendously favorable consequences on their health and expenditures and the country’s economic state and environmental wellbeing. To reach this ultimate objective, we have worked on allocating bus stops in the various regions complying to certain standards, optimizing the routing network using linear programming, determining the needed number of buses and timetable of operations to satisfy demand using simulation, setting up the ticket pricing strategy along with the ticketing structure, and finally, assessed the government’s capability of funding the project and recommended alternatives for financing the initial investment needed. Throughout the past year, we have consistently employed techniques, methods, and software solutions which we acquired throughout our training in Industrial Engineering, particularly in operations research, simulation, ergonomics and engineering economy, to formulate models, interpret results, and optimize systems based on data collected with the help of extensive research and our potential industry partners.​

  • Zoe Maria Chaoui, Carla Daccache, Christopher Farjallah​,  Marina Hoyek and Ricardo Kanaan – “​Optimizing Operations of Dafa Campaign​​ ​​​​​​"

Leonardo Da Vinci advised to test knowledge through experience and be persistent about it. As senior Industrial Engineering students, our ideal opportunity to align with this belief was through our final year project, a comprehensive learning experience that provided us with the chance to combine all our accumulated knowledge from the last four years into one thorough, well-rounded project. In light of the current crises plaguing the world, our sense of humanity compelled us to put our knowledge to good use, by partnering with a humanitarian organization for the completion of this endeavor. This affinity towards working for a charitable cause in addition to academic success led us to discover Dafa, a Lebanese NGO that has been working on the frontlines since 2019 to help provide underprivileged communities with basic needs such as food and shelter. Our collaboration with Dafa spanned from the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester up until the submission of this final report. During this period, we were able to conduct multiple visits and meetings with representatives from the organization in order to identify their needs, the objectives of our project, and the various approaches we were going to take. By analyzing Dafa’s various operations and processes, we were able to pinpoint three main categories in which our knowledge and skillset as industrial engineers would contribute to significant improvements to Dafa’s work. The three areas requiring attention were the lack of transparency and clarity in balancing the inflow and outflow of donations, the absence of an adequate inventory management system, and mismanagement of resources in the organization’s warehouse. These needs led us to identify our key project objectives which included forecasting supply and demand of donations to better monitor their inflow and outflow, develop and introduce a customized, user-friendly inventory management system on Microsoft Access, and propose an optimized layout derived from facility planning methods and simulation. After completing multiple observations and supporting them with thorough research and analysis, we were able to gradually achieve each of our three objectives by following essential methods and procedures within our Industrial Engineering curriculum. Consequently, this final report discusses our final findings which consist of a supply and demand forecast, an established Microsoft Access interface, and a new layout proposal accompanied by further suggested solutions. These recommendations will be put to use to optimize Dafa’s operations.

  • Zeina El Rohayem, Maurice Haddad, Carlie Maria Iskandar, and Karen Sreih – “​Enhancing the operations at Fahed Supervalue Zalka during the times of COVID-19​​ ​​​​​​"

The first COVID-19 case in Lebanon emanated new behaviors to the population, developed new
regulations and rules and incited all members of the economic cycle to be subject to adverse
shifts. The operations at supermarkets shifted completely as they implemented different policies
to reduce the virus transmission in stores to protect both customers and staff, such as restricting
the maximum number of customers in a store, changes to the store layout, or enforcing a
mandatory face covering policy. Thus, our final year project’s aim is to implement different
Industrial Engineering concepts in order to derive an optimal layout that ensures that Fahed
Supervalue is a safe shopping environment. In order to acquire a better understanding of the
inefficiencies and formulate strategies to solve them, we worked with 5 different Engineering
tools: Queueing Theory, Discrete Event Simulation (Computer Based), Customer Mobility Path
and Virus Transmission Model, Facilities Planning, Inventory Control and Forecasting. We
created a COVID-19 safe environment in Fahed Supervalue - Zalka, while simultaneously
maintaining business profits, and satisfying customers. In order to achieve the latter and meet
customer demands, we worked to maintain sales rates while reducing virus transmission rates.
First, we identified the customer mobility model in order to determine the shopping path
according to the distribution of essential products among the store. Second, in order to improve
the flow of customers and their assigned total exposure times, we aimed to reduce bottlenecks,
facilitate circulation and reduce time spent looking for products. We, thus, used facilities
planning, combined with the above mentioned modelling of the virus transmission in the
supermarket using a simulation on Python, in order to create an improved layout to achieve our
objective of ‘safety’.  Using Arena, we simulated the current checkout process and compared it to
a suggested single queue model, which proved to decrease the mean total time in the queue by​ 
38% and the mean total time in the system by 34.6%, thus reducing the chances of virus
transmission. Finally, we evaluated two different systems for Inventory Management, the
periodic and the continuous review policy in order to recommend one of the two to the
supermarket and maximize profits.​

  • Farah Bekhaazi, Fouad El Jabbour, Antonio El Nabbout, and Nour Khairallah – “​Pricing and Cost-saving Framework for Supermarkets in Lebanon Amidst Economic Hyperinflation​​​ ​​​​​​"

With the catastrophic financial and economic crises happening in Lebanon today, our Final Year Project (FYP) tackles some of the inefficiencies in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market. From the retailers’ perspective, a lot of supermarkets are going out of business, and owners are struggling to replenish their inventory and place food on their shelves. From the customers’ perspective, they are struggling to find the products they are used to buy, and if they do, they often find them at a price multiplied by a factor of three or even more. To tackle these issues, we first developed a tool that informs retailers about the price elasticity of demand of their essential foods products, allowing them to generate sustainable pricing decisions and answer questions like “How to price optimally? What products to restock? What products to discontinue?”. We thus advance a short-term pricing strategy, which considers the uncertainty of the exchange rate and needs to be updated regularly, such as on a weekly basis. We then investigated zero-packaging retail. This alternative not only promotes an eco-friendly grocery shopping experience but also provide an opportunity to mitigate the effect of the hyperinflation of food prices, knowing that packaging material is priced in dollars. As such, we performed an economic feasibility study to assess the cost saving of implementing a “Bulk and Refill” section in Lebanese supermarkets, considering the uncertainty of the exchange rate. The study showed promising results for a MARR of 15% considering both subsidized and non-subsidized products, and great profitability for subsidized products at a MARR of 30%. Finally, we considered the campaign introduced before the crisis of October 2019 which encourages the replacement of plastic bags at supermarket checkouts with reusable long-lasting bags. This failed attempt at achieving an eco-friendlier shopping experience motivated us to conduct our own economic feasibility study addressing this issue. The study showed that offering reusable bags at a price below their actual cost is profitable in the long run.​

  • Lea El Adem,  Mia Daoud​, Fatima Mansour, and Andrea Nehme – “​Optimizing La Bergere’s Materials Management System​ ​​​​​​"

LibanJus s.a.l. is the leading manufacturer and distributor of juice, ice-cream, and dairy products
in Lebanon which distributes its own products across Lebanon and exports internationally.
LibanJus owns brands including Maccaw, Danway Iceberg, and UNO. In 2018, their newest
member company was launched: La Bergère which is our main focus in this project. This brand
includes the following products: Ayran, Crème Dessert, Laban, Labneh, Labneh Baladieh, and
UHT Milk. Using the tools and methods we learned during our academic journey in Industrial
Engineering, we tackled the main issue currently faced by La Bergère: the shortages in the raw
material used for these dairy products which is Raw Milk. A proposed solution was studied from
all the aspects: the projection and long-term results, sustainability and long-term investment,
quality control and safety, and finally optimization of our layout for better use and results. This
solution gives La Bergere a new alternative in the supply system, which is having their own farm.
Many challenges were encountered throughout the project which constrain our work, but the main
objective was to minimize the effects of these constraints and provide the most suitable solution
that enhances and facilitates the Materials Management System (MMS) in the company. In order
to complete the feasibility study of this project and assess whether the proposed solution is realistic and achievable, some prior steps needed to be completed. Using Arena Simulation software and running our model for five years, we found the exact number of cows needed in each category along with their required spaces. This allowed to optimize the layout of the farm for the optimal use of space. The quality of the raw milk provided was also studied. All of these milestones lead to the completion of the cost-benefit analysis of our study which therefore completes our feasibility study.

  • Rafic Ayloush,  Nour Hachem,  Manar Hajjar, Abdel Kader Hallab​ and Lana Hassoune   – “​ Rooting for LifeLab: Optimization of Hydroponic Farming​​​​​​"
Hydroponic farming is a water-based cultivation technique that is used to increase efficiency and reduce waste in farming. We decided to partner with LifeLab, an emerging Lebanese company that manufactures hydroponic systems and sells hydroponically grown vegetables and fruits. The main challenges LifeLab is facing include a lack of standardization in their operations, low efficiency in their operations and lack of traction in the farming workstream. To overcome these challenges, we focused on the following objectives for our final year project. First, standardizing LifeLab’s material management system by developing an interactive Excel tool that generates the bill of materials for different sizes of a hydroponic system. Second, standardizing the sequence of LifeLab’s manufacturing processes by developing a “make or buy decision” tool that specifies whether an activity should be performed in-house or outsourced and providing a list of the most cost-effective shops to outsource their activities to. Also, improving LifeLab’s farming facility by providing them with a final layout of their facility, a final layout for their packaging department and a feasibility study to select a packaging machine. Third, selecting the optimal growing conditions for sucrine lettuce in LifeLab’s hydroponic systems and developing an optimization algorithm to determine the plants and conditions that are most profitable to grow in any system they might implement.

  • Karim Hafez,  Alexander Mardelli, Karim Rizkallah, Alex Saadeh​ and Karim Sayegh​ – “Enhancing the Middle East Airlines In-Flight-Services Warehouse​​​​​​"

Middle East Airlines’ (MEA) IFS warehouse allows them to store and transport food, beverages,
cutlery, and many other essential items used in commercial flights. This warehouse serves an
average of 20 flights per day, rising to 35 flights during high seasons. The depot has been
mismanaged for a long time; it is lagging in technological and industrial advancements in
warehousing. First, on a facility level, many delays and errors occur while servicing a specific
aircraft. We can notice high congestions, bottlenecks, and improper arrangements due to
inadequate floor layout. Our approach to tackle this problem consisted of several steps. We
developed two proposed layouts: the first is the result of a Systematic Layout Planning (SLP),
and the second is the outcome of a Graph-Based Approach. To evaluate these alternatives, we
computed their adjacency scores based on the adjacency-based objective function. The selected
layout, which had the highest adjacency score, was further optimized by weighing improvements
based on the BLOCPLAN algorithm. Moving on to the task level, workers within the warehouse
are complaining about health issues ranging from musculoskeletal aches to psychomotor
discomforts. This is evidently related to inefficient process design. We began by identifying,
using the Nordic Questionnaire, the muscle areas that are raising concerns within the workforce.
Further, we located the tasks that predominantly involve these muscle segments. To evaluate
muscle stress levels, we used the electromyography (EMG) tool. We benchmarked muscle
performance while conducting the respective task to the Maximum Voluntary Contraction
(MVC). Based on the results, we redesigned the task to reduce load on the corresponding
muscles. This will lead to higher worker productivity and welfare. Additionally, we focused on
remodeling processes that are causing delays and are inefficient. Upon our visit to the facility,
and with the guidance of our sponsor, we realized that, in the preparation rooms, backtracking.

  •  Chloe Abi Jaoude, Marc Gharios, Mario El Noune, and Joseph Salloum– “Improving operations at the Maccaw factory"

The following case study is focused on improving machine efficiency and overall productivity at the Maccaw factory, by increasing product line efficiency and minimizing inventory costs. The Maccaw Juice Factory was chosen as the ideal subject for our study as it holds potential for improvement, allowing us to implement industrial engineering techniques to reach our goal of optimal productivity. We adopted different tools in our approach to conduct the study such as DMAIC, Six Sigma and EOQ methods. We conducted weekly field visits to identify problematic areas and carried out time studies for breakdown repair processes. We also relied on historical data for spare parts reordering decisions. In September 2020, we were informed about the main problem areas we could address and those include inefficiencies in the production line, machine breakdowns, time-waste, and additional undesired expenses. Tackling these problems requires: identifying the main causes of inefficiencies in the line, creating a database for machine breakdowns, reporting loss hours through time studies before and after production, conducting inventory control on spare parts and reducing the costs and impact of breakdown occurrences. Based on the results, the root cause of variation and poor performance in the product line was a malfunction of the final folder of the A3 Speed machine which is responsible to close the flaps of the juice boxes by applying pressure. In order to reduce the failure rate of the machine we recommended conducting better maintenance, hiring a full-time technician, and implementing a more efficient repair process. To better keep spare parts on hand, we conducted an EOQ model to get the optimal reorder point of the six more used spare parts. We also created a database to manage the inventory of spare parts and monitor breakdowns. Finally, we suggested a new facility layout to the optimize the flows in and out of the factory.

Final Year Projects 2019-2020

There is an evident lag in the adoption of new technologies within Lebanese companies, regardless of the industry type, especially when it comes to data exchange and management operations. Today's available tools can make the process of extracting and utilizing suitable information an effortless task. All it needs is proper organization and mapping through Industry 4.0 technologies. Our project aims to push Wafic Idriss Ets., a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods producer and distributor, towards the implementation of this trend by creating a smart environment of completely automated data exchange. This transformation requires that the environment undergoes an overhaul since the data onhand is either on paper or has been digitized poorly. Several steps towards reaching this milestone have been achieved, such as cleaning the data, creating a Microsoft Excel application with executable macros, and developing a Microsoft Access interface with appropriate forms that display all information needed for the distribution operations. In the second part of this project, we designed a software robot dedicated to facilitating data transfer between the two platforms. We also developed a mobile application that makes use of the newly formed database. It organizes the drivers' daily deliveries based on client locations, monitors the status of deliveries, and updates the database after completing an order. The application uses Google technologies to guide the drivers to use the best possible routes to reach each customer and provides them with an incentive to complete more jobs, therefore increasing their productivity. The results of the project will be analyzed through the robot's performance by assessing reduction in time spent to run daily tasks, and the application's ability to increase productivity, therefore minimizing overall costs spent on our industry partner's delivery sector.

As industrial engineering students, the optimization of processes, elimination of wastes, and integration of efficient systems are important concepts that we have learned throughout our years at the American University of Beirut (AUB). In our Final Year Project (FYP), we intend to use all the different concepts, methods, and theories that we have learned throughout our years at AUB to support in the optimization of the factory processes of Henkel, a multi-national laundry and home care company. After thoroughly examining the different processes, focusing on the production process and the worker tasks, we will be suggesting solutions that tackle worker safety and optimization of production efficiency, in attempts to implement them. We decided to focus on these processes since we observed several issues that indicate a need for major improvement. With those in mind, and a chance of Henkel moving their factory to a different location, we came to an agreement that the three main components of our project, discussed in detail throughout the report, are ergonomics (by using the EMG device, RULA, NIOSH, and discomfort rating), simulation (by conducting a time study and using the Arena software), and facilities planning in order to optimize their spatial requirement. Our focus during the fall semester was on ergonomics and simulation, leaving facilities planning to be tackled during the spring semester. So far, since we discovered that one of the processes in the factory (the palleting process) causes harm to the lower back of the workers, we are working on finding a less harmful design for it. As for simulation, we have found the bottlenecks of the machines and are researching cost-effective ways to resolve them.

We propose to maximize the overall profits of Mini Mall, a supermarket in Nabatieh, by promoting impulse buying. To do this, we aim to optimize shelf-space allocation of supermarket products in a way that increases the visibility of items with a high impulse purchase rate and thus drive the customers to buy more. Following the analysis of 51,379 ereceipts, the various products (i.e. Twix, Persil, etc.) were organized into product categories and located on the current layout of the supermarket. Depending on the location of the shelves within the store, product visibility rates and customer traffic intensity rates may fluctuate, which is why calculating those rates was necessary. We also conducted surveys to compute the impulse purchase rates of specific product categories. The results of these three computed rates were used to clearly demonstrate which areas of Mini Mall attract the most customers. Visualizations of correlations in the customer basket data gathered using R software were developed to better picture the information presented. Based on our analysis, we propose optimal positioning of products around the store, and we forecast a significant increase in profitability based on these moves. While it is not possible to “manually" figure out the best revenue-boosting moves, we suggest a 0-1 integer programming model towards this end. The model formulation and the estimation of its input parameters are complete. Our ongoing work is on coding and solving the model as well as using AMPL compiler and CPLEX solver which can handle a model with thousands of decision variables and constraints such as ours. Our work is expected to be a successful application of predictive and prescriptive based on big data in retailing.

Roadster Diner is the leading national casual diner and offers food delivery services all over Lebanon. However, their delivery network faces profit losses and timing problems. This paper revolves around one main objective: the optimization of Roadster's delivery network, which in turn leads to a major increase in their productivity and profitability. This study tests the feasibility of merging the delivery network of the two sister companies Zaatar W Zeit and Bar Tartine with that of our stakeholder. This paper will focus on three main topics studied. First, the optimization of the delivery operations. Second, the improvement of internal operations in the kitchen of delivery centers. This Final Year Project revolves around finding engineering methods to provide our stakeholders with the fastest delivery service for the least possible cost. Furthermore, the paper will discuss the results obtained from our pilot research, and the results expected by the end of the year.

Passenger complaints are very common in the airline industry, and leading airlines continuously work to minimize the number of complaints by examining their root causes. However, major airlines also put considerable emphasis on efficiently handling complaints using modern systems. Middle East Airlines (MEA) still uses a manual complaint handling system, where complaints are stored in and retrieved from physical books, which makes handling complaints a difficult and unorganized activity. Another problem that MEA faces is the lack of a systematic cargo shipment policy, which is leading to missed revenues. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the airline industry is known for its low profit margins. In light of these problems, and with MEA's desire to digitalize its operations and improve its performance, we set out to accomplish two objectives: digitalizing the complaint handling process and optimizing cargo loading at MEA. For our first objective, we started by interviewing key people in the Customer Relations department and, based on their inputs, created process flow diagrams for both the current and future (proposed) states of the process. We then worked on digitalizing the process by developing an Excel application that features a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use commands. To complete our second objective, we started by interviewing key decision-makers in the Cargo Shipment department to understand how they currently plan cargo shipments. We were then given previously collected data about the Paris-Beirut route, including the number and weight of passengers carried, and the weight and allocation of bags and cargo. After that we forecasted future outstanding weights and developed an Integer Linear Program that aims to optimize cargo loading and thus help MEA in generating higher revenues from cargo shipments.

Our Final Year Project focuses on improving the efficiency of the Zeeni's Trading Agency. This Lebanese company produces a variety of products ranging from personal care products to boats. It even produces its own machines for the production lines of these products. We decided to help the company improve the production and the overall business by exploring and studying many different aspects of its operations. Our focus will be on a new production line created to produce “AmbiPur" floor cleaners. When we watched how this line operates, we directly noticed a huge need for improvement and therefore set our first objective as to improve the production line efficiency of “AmbiPur" floor cleaners. In addition to that, the company manages three different warehouses, and stocks a lot of inventory, raw material, chemical products, packaging boxes, etc. To help them ensure an efficient, safe and cost-effective warehouse, we decided to work on optimizing the main warehouse which is the second floor for storing finished goods. Using a time study, we were able to document the standard method used, list and divide the processes into elements and get the standard time of the operation. In addition to that, we simulated the process using the Arena software in order to find a way to reduce the time wasted in the production line. Based on the results obtained, the updated model will replace two elements (capping and wiping) by one automated machine which will reduce the number of working days, workers needed and labor costs. Concerning the warehouse optimization, the team is currently aiming to find the optimal layout that will minimize the objective function set and eventually reduce the cost and time of handling the products.

This paper outlines the progress taken to improve the amount of fulfilled volunteer-based blood donations by Donner Sang Compter (DSC). The World Health Organization set a goal to turn the global blood supply from a replacement system to a 100% volunteer system by 2025, and Lebanon is behind on this goal. The head of Donner Sang Compter (DSC), Yorgui Teyrouz, estimates that in 2019, the replacement system still constitutes 90% of the blood donations in Lebanon. Our objective is, therefore, to improve the amount of volunteer-based blood donations in Lebanon by improving DSC's donor rate. The initial phase of our project consisted of forecasting blood demand and its fulfilment by DSC, and simulation of the call center processes. At this stage, the results so far have disclosed the widening gap between the demand DSC receives and the blood requests they fulfill, as well as the lag time between receiving and fulfilling a demand. In the next phase of our project, we plan to utilize predictive donor scheduling and ergonomic interface improvement to increase demand fulfillment.

Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport's ground handling processes lack efficiency. This inefficiency leads to high cost, low productivity, and low customer satisfaction. Therefore, we will tackle two major operations at the airport: the check-in and the luggage handling systems. This paper will present different tools and techniques used to analyze the current systems, and propose some improvements that aims to optimize the processes. According to several studies, an improvement in the airport processes can help boost tourism which is one of the most developed sectors in Lebanon. This can in return positively impact the Lebanese economy. In addition, the luggage operators carry excessively heavy loads for long periods of time, leaving them prone to injuries. Our team decided to study these operations which will consider the worker's safety and will make every traveler's life easier. Finally, this project would help our country achieve lower operations costs, and higher tourist's revenues.

This paper aims to analyze and tackle some of the major challenges faced by the main emergency medical services center operating in Lebanon: The Lebanese Red Cross. This nongovernmental organization is a major pillar of the Lebanese community as it ensures the safety and well-being of all citizens. Its centers rely on independent volunteers to satisfy daily emergency calls. To ensure the efficient allocation of rescuers to shifts, this paper outlines the methods to develop an interface that prioritizes volunteer schedule preferences while accounting for organizational requirements. To further assist the Lebanese Red Cross, we will work on optimizing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of their main warehouse by categorizing the commodities based on criticality, forecasting their demand and ultimately developing an optimal ordering policy and an improved layout design.

In-flight catering is of utmost importance to airlines and has constantly proved to be one of the most significant deciding factors for travelers. This paper, conducted in partnership with the Lebanese Beirut Airport Catering Company, is driven by the evident importance of the in-flight catering industry and its relative complexity compared to other operational systems. Another key driver comes from empirical research and on-site observations that indicated problems facing the company at the level of quality, finances, and efficiency. In this paper, the team showcases the benefits of applying Statistical Process Control in helping the company improve the safety and quality of its catered food through the introduction of control charts into the control of the meal production process. A recommendation is also presented for the meal traceability issues facing the company through an Access database and an Excel interface. In addition, an AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average model is introduced that forecasted future demand as a prerequisite for the company's aggregate planning and economic order quantity models. The findings presented in this paper have provided the team with some promising results and a fitting springboard for optimization of the processes at the Lebanese Beirut Airport Catering Company.

Public institutions aim at providing citizens with better services to satisfy them and ensure their safety and wellbeing. In order to ensure car and road safety, the Lebanese Ministry of Interior performs annually motor vehicle inspections in four stations in Lebanon. The annual mechanical inspection checks the vehicles roadworthiness for conformity to technical standards and norms according to law 124. Lebanese citizens have been complaining about the long waiting queues while performing their annual motor vehicle car inspection especially at Hadath station. This station suffers from extensive congestion because it is the only station that serves citizens in the Beirut governorate. Also, the number of served cars has been increasing over the years without proper adjustments. Therefore, we decided to optimize the performance of this station and minimize queue times. In order to achieve our goal, we applied queuing theory on the current queue system upon arrival to assess its effectiveness and we designed a new queue system that is based on one queue, multiple servers that will minimize waiting time at this queue. Also, we used simulation in order to evaluate the performance of the current system, test the feasibility of different alternatives and design a new system that minimizes overall waiting time in system. Moreover, we investigated the possibility of using 'Psychology of Queuing' in order to reduce the impact of waiting time and to enrich citizens' experience. And, we analyzed the possibility of designing a system based on appointments in order to control the car arrival variability. The design of the new system will include differentiated lanes for old cars and new cars that will be determined by classifying a criterion using data analytics and RStudio depending on the model of the car to reduce congestion caused by older car models. Also, we aim to forecast the demand of car inspections in order to determine the required system capacity that will meet the increasing demand. Therefore, our project will improve the overall system efficiency and minimize waiting time.

Emergency departments (ED) are a primary interface between patients and the healthcare industry. In this study, we focus on optimizing the ED of Mount Lebanon Hospital. This specific hospital unit is known to be a very dynamic place, where a considerable amount of processes and decision-making takes place. A lot of issues and obstacles may arise and interfere with the efficiency and accuracy of the services. Therefore, optimizing the overall management of ED's is of an extreme importance. In this work, we focus on generating industrial engineering solutions in MLH's ED and implementing them in their new expanded unit. In order to do that, we allocated a considerable amount of time in researching and observing the ED's procedures. Our goal was to be able to optimize the quality of the services while providing industrial engineering solutions accordingly for the future unit. In the remaining work we will perform simulation with ARENA software to decrease patients' waiting time and waste. Also, we will be working on optimizing the ED's layout to increase efficiency and productivity. Lastly, we will be tackling the matter from an ergonomic perspective.

Lebanon has a bad history of waste management systems that depend on dumping trash in landfills; to end this cycle, the use of sorting facilities to recycle our waste is necessary. Due to the importance of these entities, we decided to base our final year project on tackling the inefficiencies that plague these facilities. The main purpose of this paper is to study and understand the process and inefficiencies of sorting facilities, which would enable us to design an optimal one. Our first phase focused on understanding the problems present in the sorting facility. We compared current working conditions to ergonomic standards and suggested solutions to be implemented. We also conducted time studies on tasks to identify problematic ones that could be improved. Our second phase consisted of designing an optimal facility and supply chain by using three industrial engineering tools. First, we enhanced the old layout by using facilities planning techniques. Compared to the old layout, we got an increase of 48.4% in the adjacency score and a decrease of 25.7% in the distance-based objective. Second, we tackled the vehicle routing problem associated with the pick-ups of trash where we created a linear program. We identified the optimal route which resulted in an 8% decrease in time, money, distance, and carbon footprint. Third, we identified the most feasible recycling facilities to collaborate with while optimizing the drop off schedule of recyclables. Finally, to wrap everything up, we simulated the original and the improved systems to show the impact of our proposed modifications.

A growing number of banks are currently concerned with the optimization and digitization of their banking processes. New approaches and technologies are now available to cater to the specific needs of the banking system. This knowledge has directed us to study the possibility of combining the two banking profiles, referred to as the Personal Banker (who handles sales operations) and the Teller (who is responsible for cash operations) into one unified profile whose operations are assisted by new technologies. In order to do this, a detailed understanding of the different tasks performed by each and the times required for completion were necessary. From here, we selected a branch of study, documented the standard method for multiple banking operations, conducted time studies on six of these operations, and applied lean principles to identify waste. Small–scale improvements were then introduced and studied to obtain a more efficient set of operations for the new (merged) profiles. Two simulation models of the branch were also built. The first was built to simulate the current queueing system in order to analyze the branch at a macro-level, and the second to predict the number of bankers needed following the issuance of the updated and improved operations. That way, we maximize operator utilization while minimizing waiting time. New technologies will be introduced to assist both the operator and the client and to mitigate the operational risks associated with the merger. A final optimal branch layout will then be constructed.

Final Year Projects 2018-2019

As part of their graduation requirement, IE students worked in teams of three of four to complete a capstone final year project (FYP). The projects tackled a range of issues, including the optimization of the beirut international airport to the lean manufacturing and facility planning. Abstracts of this year's IE FYPs can be seen below.

  • Leah Atallah, Ziad Baydoun, Layal Fleifel, and  Julie Haddad - " Optimization of the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (Minimizing Waiting Time in a Queue )"
The main aim of any organization is to have high efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction. Rafic Hariri International Airport has been facing chaotic scenes lately resulting from various reasons. Some of these reasons are: software error that lead to upheaval in baggage control, long queues at General Security desks due to lack of efficiency of the system used, uncertainty of the travel agencies, and severe staff shortage. These issues lead to a drastic increase in the waiting time of passengers. Accordingly, we decided to handle that obstacle and work on minimizing the waiting time of passengers from the moment they enter the airport until the boarding point. During the first part of this project, we simulated the current situation at the airport after interviewing different people working there and observing passengers go through each checkpoint while timing them. After completion of the first part of this project, we found out there are two bottleneck stations responsible mainly for the long waiting times in queue, which are the check-in counters and the security check at the entrance. The Lebanese laws regarding the security of the civil aviation restricts our ability to make the needed modifications to the security check at the entrance of the airport. In this second part of our project we will focus on fixing the problem of check- in counters by finding a standard method to allocate airplanes to check-in counters in order to have a more accurate representation of our airport's simulation. In addition, our team is also incorporating facilities planning by working on a new layout for the airport that will hopefully minimize the waiting time in queue and maximize the airport's efficiency to deliver a better, more optimal and more efficient experience at the Beirut Rafic Hariri International airport. 

  • Hammam Abu Hatab, Kareem Kaddoura, Nadim Yatim, and Zein Zaher - " Data Analytics and Simulation at AUBMC: Reducing Patient Waiting Time "
A growing number of hospitals are using healthcare-specific simulation technology to identify process improvements, particularly when there are numerous alternatives under consideration. New software and database systems are available, which specifically meet the unique needs of healthcare systems and departments. This research describes a discrete event simulation study of the ophthalmology department at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) using Arena software. The main objectives are to reduce patient waiting time for the process by implementing the techniques aforementioned; consequently, this will increase patient inflow per day. Unlike the popular consensus that patients' waiting time immensely decreases by having additional doctors, this study shows that the bottleneck is in fact at the imaging process of the department. As patient waiting times are linked to resource availability, several alternatives are inspected. The optimal alternative benefiting the department suggests assigning an additional imaging staff and simultaneously rescheduling the tasks of two idle clinical assistants based on specific daily schedules. The clustering of patients enhances the simulation findings by showing how resource reallocation is a valuable extension to the alternative suggested. As a result, the average waiting time per patient decreases by 31.4%.

  • Paul Chawah, Michel Dibo, Micaella Farah, and  Therese Keyrouz - " Utopia: Board Game Development"
The board game industry is expected to grow yearly by 9%, with strategy board games at the forefront. Despite the tough competition in this market and the availability of a large number of leisure substitutes, we have decided to develop a board game that aims to delight customer needs. The target market for our product is mainly students and young adults. After analyzing the main competitors' strengths and weaknesses and assessing market needs, we found out that it is best to incorporate high levels of player interaction and strategic decision-making in a game, while minimizing the elements of luck and routine. The use of a realistic theme, negotiation, simultaneous competition and cooperation, and continuous choices would contribute to a highly stimulating social setting for board game enthusiasts. Knowing that, we proceeded with the concept design of our game. The interactive board game centers on national development strategies through sector enhancement and international trading, mixing both euro-style and strategy play. The game board is an altered map of the world, and game mechanics imply turnbased movement along the board through dice, as well as drawing, trade and use of cards. The goal of the game would be to develop one's countries until they possess highly desirable qualities, hence the name of the game “Utopia". Detailed design specifications were engineered and a basic software prototype was generated in order to test our product in the market. Our business strategy involved penetrating the market with a relatively lower price of 40$/unit to enable us to gain market adoption and subsequently market share, and establishing a differentiation and cost leadership structure. Promotion is to be conducted mainly on social media to reach broad and targeted audiences, while the game would first be available for online purchasing, then in main retail stores. It is estimated that Utopia sales would keep on increasing and that the break-even period is around one operating year, as profits would amount to 133,817$ by the end of the second operating year, offering enough cash liquidity to pursue any opportunity and minimize threats.

  • Kassem Abdo, Zouheir Al- Jawiche, Rami Bou Matar, and  Shadi El Bazi - " Simulated Economic Analysis and Database Management of Conserve Chtaura "

Conserves Moderns Chtaura have been using machines that are 30 years old while surviving above break-even point and still generating enough profit for its operations. These machine's productivity level has deteriorated and the company is not generating the same profit as it used to in the past.  This brings the question of what is the most efficient way the company can generate profit again. We also designed a path for the flow of information in the company and investigate the production lines and see if the lines run as efficiently as the company thinks it does. This paper aims at studying the machines at Chtaura and creating a decision making tool to analyze which replacement option will generate the most profit. Our study includes a simulation of the two most used production lines in Chtaura, using Arena Simulation Software. This simulation can emulate the actual process of the production lines. In this way we can create different scenarios on the software and implement these changes on the production lines. In addition to this, the use of a cost benefit analysis will complement the use of the software by determining the optimal option in terms of revenues. Since revenues are linked to efficient production, we have several alternatives to analyze. The first is improving the current production line by just addition of new machines at the inefficient points in the line. The second alternative is the replacement of the current production line with a fully automated one. This paper addressed all the issues and results of the problems that the company wants to be solved and implements a recommendation at the end for which strategy is best suitable for the company.

  • Tala Awada , Sara Jammoul, Christa Makzoume, and Lea Sakr- " Lean Manufacturing, Facility Planning and Simulation: Improving the Efficiency of Cosmetics Production Line"
Studies show that wearing cosmetics has a beneficial impact upon the perception of women's earning, professional class, health and confidence (Nash, Fieldman, Hussey, Lèvêque, Pineau, 2006). They spend 11 minutes a day on average putting makeup, and spend around $3756 per year on their cosmetics products (McLintock, 2017). From here, one can say that what women seek is budget-friendly and effective products that will help them boost their self-esteem and well-being, which may be particularly valuable in facilitating social interactions and promoting good first impressions (Nash, Fieldman, Hussey, Lèvêque, Pineau, 2006).

For those reasons and due to our common interest in cosmetics and manufacturing, we decided to improve a renowned cosmetics manufacturing facility in Lebanon that produces affordable makeup products and has become a major player   in Lebanon and in the MENA region. During our factory visits, we realized that several processes needed improvement, in particular those of two production lines that we decided to focus our work on: the nail polish production line and the compact powder production line.
  •   Firas Atoui   Celine Bitar, Michelle Diab, Antoine Moussally, and Yann Tamraz - " Turning the Grand Factory into an Optimized and Sustainable Nightclub "
This project has two core purposes. First, it aims at turning the Grand Factory, one of Lebanon's most popular nightclubs, into the first sustainable nightclub in the country. The second objective is to optimize the flow of people inside and outside of the club in order to improve customer satisfaction.   Our concern was to raise awareness about energy consumption. We decided to work with the Grand Factory because it attracts and influences a large and young audience. We are also aware of the high energy consumption of nightclubs. This motivated us to come up with sustainable and feasible alternatives. We are mainly focusing on reducing the club's electricity and water consumption through two implementations. First, we are going to install waterless urinals in the men's restrooms, as well as vacuum toilets in the women's restrooms. Second, we are developing piezoelectric tiles to cover the dance floor. These tiles convert the mechanical energy resulting from a footstep into electrical energy that can power electrical devices. This would allow clubbers to actively participate in energy saving and to feel involved in the process, while having fun.  In order to reach as many people as possible and to maximize energy saving, we need to ensure that the Grand Factory maintains its customer satisfaction level and preserves its popularity. The main issue is the overcrowding that leads to long waiting times in queue in three areas: the entrance, the coat check and the bar. We observed the entire processes at these stations, recorded arrival and service times and then modeled the systems on Arena. This allowed us to test various improvements and select the optimal ones.   By implementing these improvements, the Grand Factory would enhance its image and influence many other institutions in the country to follow their lead by going green.

  •   Emilien Raggi, Michel Jurdak, Bechara Fayad, and  Christopher Tamari - " Grand Hotel Revenue Management, Ergonomics and Facility Planning "
This project tackles the topics of Revenue Management, Ergonomics and Facility planning.

Its aim is to help an establishment in the hospitality sector, Grand Hotel Bois de Boulogne, implement a revenue management policy to their everyday operations, facilitate the work of the cleaning staff, and redesign the layout of their kitchen. Familiarization with the hotel industry and more specifically the operations of our business partner led to a suitable RM model using three different fares (100$, 85$ and 70$ all year, except busy holidays). Fares were decided based on customer segmentation and the model was implemented based on an approximation of future demand, provided the past booking data of the hotel and current capacity at any point in time. The algorithm foundation (expected demand) also relies on expert judgment and seasonality. Noting different problems in the hotel's main kitchen that don't allow employees to perform at an optimal level, our layout analysis led to two kitchen plans: one that regroups all the cooking stations in the center of the room and another which separates the different cooking stations. The standard time for the hanging task and the maximum basket weight that workers should be allowed to lift were analyzed. Interviews with the workers also provided information about the location and intensity of pain they felt during the task. Using work measurement methods, we designed two solutions for the hanging operation and one for lifting: for hanging, the first one is the purchase of a new dryer machine that would reduce the load carried by the workers during the hanging of the sheets (which was according to them the hardest part of the operation) in addition to saving time, and the second one is the addition of a table under the clothes line to reduce the range of movement for workers; whereas for lifting, it is the use of pushcarts to carry around the bed sheets from the rooms to the washing station (instead of baskets).

  • Celine Alameh, Carl Assaf, Joudi Bakieh, Aman Chaarani, and Jawdat Mirza  - " Loop x. AUB "

“Are we there yet? Loop hits the streets of Beirut" is a project conducted by Industrial Engineering students over a year to illustrate the importance of Mobility as a Service in solving serious environmental and health issues that Lebanon is facing: The effect of the combustion pollutants on the environment in addition to the chronic traffic problem invading the streets of Beirut were the main drivers of our interest in Loop Sal.  Loop Sal introduces electrical scooter fleet sharing service in Lebanon, as the first operator in the MENA region. The overall purpose of the project is to improve the accessibility of scooters to current and potential users and facilitate fast transportation in a profitable, efficient and timely manner. This operational-analytical study was conducted on a one-year data set provided by Loop operators. Collected data sets were analyzed by Input Analyzer, Arena Simulation, Python and Excel software to optimize the allocation of scooters in the current and potential stations in Beirut. This results in enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing the loss in demand for scooters; and hence growing the market of electric scooters ride sharing. Financial data was collected to undergo a pricing strategy using a mathematical model to meet Loop's monetary expectations while satisfying customer's willingness to pay. An evaluation of traffic zones and roads infrastructure was used to determine the allocation of additional station locations and optimal trajectories ensuring customer's safety.  The findings and results of this project indicate that the existing number of scooters need to increase by at least 50 scooters allocated differently on each station following a stochastic model. The current number of stations need to be upgraded to ensure accessibility of scooters, followed by an adjustment in rides pricing to minimize the opportunity cost incurred by Loop. 

  •  Christina Axarlis, Jennifer Rizkallah, Tala Saab, and Mohammad Shamali - " Warehouse Synthesis: Circulation and  Storage Efficiency "
Warehouse synthesis and management is an essential task for each firm aiming on taking advantage of all its resources. In fact, having a standardized and near optimal warehouse design dictates the success of a business (Cardona et al., 2016). Not only does a good warehouse design reduce costs incurred on the company, but also plays a role in a range of customer service activities such as being able to provide the customers with the required product upon request (Establish, 2005). Motivated by the importance of warehouse synthesis, the aim of our project is to come up with a warehouse management plan for TA group that provides their new facility with standardized procedures to reduce order-picking duration. Furthermore, our objective is to minimize the time it takes for an order to be prepared by setting standardized product allocation and retrieval methods as well as providing a layout that promotes ease of circulation and safety within the facililty.

  •      Nassib El Chaar, Ahmad El Sabbagh, Basil Machtoub, and Serge Richmany - " Optimization of Order-Picker Efficiency and Safety at Transmed's Warehouse"
The aim of this research paper is to study and improve the current manual material handling/order-picking operation in one of the leading service distribution companies in the MENA region, Transmed. Our study is specifically implemented in their warehouse located in Choueifat, Lebanon. As a team consisting of four Industrial Engineers, we conducted a thorough study on the order-picking system at the warehouse. Improving this operation involves reducing cognitive stress and musculoskeletal disorders, whilst improving order-picking productivity of these workers. Knowledge and skills within the fields of Work Measurement and Ergonomics have been applied. The tools and techniques used are Time Studies, Predetermined Time System, NASA-TLX, NIOSH Lifting Equation, and Rapid Upper Limb Assessment. They have been performed on several order-picking participants and have been crucial in determining the standard time of the picking operation and in detecting the following: repetitive motion, performance affecting equipment and machinery, cognitive stress and probable musculoskeletal disorders. All of which could be improved by applying our formulated solutions. The sole purpose of this study is to enhance the productivity and safety of the order-pickers in the warehouse, directly benefiting the company through improving efficiency and effectiveness while reducing direct and indirect costs.  

Final Year Projects 2017-2018

This academic year 2017-2018 witnessed the graduation of the first ever AUB class of Industrial Engineers.

Congratulations to the IE class of 2018!​

The first batch of AUB Industrial Engineers 

The projects tackled a range of issues, including the optimization of a warehouse in a large Lebanese company to the development of a new phone application. Abstracts of this year's IE FYPs can be seen below.​

  • Grace Abdallah, Danielle Boghos, Nour Fakhoury, and Omar Omeish - "Construction Management and Optimization of a Three-Story Residential Building"

This project tackles the subjects of project management and optimization of the construction of a three-story residential building in Ein el Rimmeneh. The construction management study focuses on the assessment of the total duration of the project, using the Critical Path Method on MS Project, as well as the total cost of the project, assessing its direct costs by developing a Bill of Quantities, and its indirect costs. An analysis of different possible risks that could occur has been conducted and their implications on the project have been assessed. The optimization study consists of assessing the resource allocation for the project, in order to decrease cost but not increase time as well, finding a (near) optimal solution. Brook's algorithm, as well as an improvement on that, have been used to do so. A simulation has been conducted on both the cost and the schedule, in order to accurately determine the cost of the project and the critical activities of the project.

  • Joy Bou Sleiman, Ralph Deeb, Zeina Jouni, and Jeffrey Khattar - "Optimization of the American University of Beirut Gym"

Health and fitness are of supreme importance at any stage of human life. People are becoming more and more conscious about their health, and are hence referring to the gym more frequently. Sports are more often than not an adopted mechanism to cope with stress, especially for students and professors who deal with tight schedules and many deadlines. Increasingly, universities around the world are providing their students and faculty with a sports center that caters to these needs. Our objective in this project is to improve the overall gym experience at the Charles Hostler Student Center in the American University of Beirut. We are using our knowledge and expertise in various fields to ensure that the gym at AUB is up to gold standard, and that every person entering it will have a great experience that is well rounded and does not lack anything. 

  • Yara Mia Chamoun, Ramsey Fahed, Chris Maroun, and Lea Nasr - "Optimization of Warehousing Practices at Karim Trading S.A.L."

Working on finding optimal solutions to warehousing issues can be particularly challenging, especially when it comes to countries that lag on the use of modern techniques. Karim Trading S.A.L is a warehouse and distribution company that distributes food, fast moving consumer goods and household products to around 5,000 customers across Lebanon. The company holds 42 product brands, which translates into 680 different products. Despite the large scale of operations of the company, the warehouse is still not running based on predetermined strategies. In this context, we decided that our approach should tackle two main objectives: the design of a new layout for the distribution of products throughout the warehouse, and the development of an order picking strategy applicable to any type of orders. Instinctively, we thought of resolving the issue by looking mainly at optimization tools and trying to derive an integrated model. This reasoning shortly led us to the development of several unrealistic assumptions and simplifications. After extensive research, we shifted our focus towards more flexible and adaptable techniques all based on heuristics. We were able to come up with three different combinations of layouts and order picking strategies: ABC classification, Alphabetical classification, and Weight classification. So far, our empirical research has shown that heuristics can lead up to a 10% improvement on order picking times on average. Our work will now be directed towards a more analytical approach with the aim of concluding based on a final cost-benefit analysis.

  • Elias Chahine, Rami El Shammas, Tracy Haoui, and Dina Khoury - "Beirut Beer Production Line Optimization and Employee Safety"

This project presents an analysis of a Lebanese Beer Production company. Beirut Beer is a company that proudly differentiates its product as the drink of the Lebanese youth that has been gaining recent recognition for its marketing campaigns. These attributes intrigued both our social and educational facets and have driven us towards our objective throughout this field study. Throughout the course of this project, we have aimed to increase the overall efficiency of Beirut Beer's manufacturing plant through optimizing the production line and improving employee well-being. This paper will focus on our results to date with emphasis on the production line. The procedure section of the report contains various qualitative techniques that have allowed us to visualize the problem of production such as detailed walk-throughs, interviews with industry partners, fishbone diagrams of the facility, and flow process charts for the entire packaging process. This has led us to build a robust Arena Simulation model that mimics the reality of the process, which consequently highlighted potential problematic areas on the line. In addition to methods, we have compiled the results of our qualitative and quantitative measures by locating bottlenecks on main processes, which allowed us to shift our focus on certain areas in the factory to analyze and monitor. Furthermore, we have begun tackling the issue of noise levels through the creation of a noise level diagram along with measuring noise using an application throughout areas subjected to a high staff concentration. We will conclude with a discussion on future steps and further analysis that would allow us to reach feasible recommendations.

  • Ahmad Chehab, Ayman Kayali, Fawzi Foz, and Louai Misto - " Inventory Management at Foz Trading: Demand Forecasting, Ordering Policies, and Facility Planning"

This project discusses an operations management case study performed for a Lebanese tool steel supplier known as Foz Trading. Inventory classification and demand forecasting are utilized to build an efficient warehouse management system using optimal ordering policies and shortage tracking. Sales data analysis was key in rearranging the warehouse facility for optimal operating conditions. Finally, a warehouse management system was implemented to improve inventory management and control by monitoring inventory level for each item and tracking their exact location within the facility.

  • Mariam Dabboussi, Nour Khouzami, Nour Obeid, and Carine Saad - "Night Owl: A
    Feasibility Study"

This project is a feasibility study on an up and coming startup in Beirut called Night Owl. Night Owl is working on creating a multi-sided platform between 18-30 partygoers and nightlife establishments which acts as the ultimate “concierge system" for nightlife to know what is hot and trending around Beirut and to help businesses optimize customer experience and attract the right crowd.  We conducted market research through literature reviews, case studies and through ethnographic research. Our ethnographic research was conducted through surveys and face-to-face interviews for both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customers (B2C).   From the market findings we accumulated, we created detailed product specifications which include the ability to authenticate users, search for specific clubs and keywords, control personal account information, filtering information by date, genre and age limit, provide all relevant information and any possible shortcomings in specific events. (Address, description, genre, opening times), book tables at venues via email. We split the app creation process into three phases: wireframes, screens with no functionality and screens with functionality. We presented the wireframes and sketches in the fall semester, along with a clickable mockup in the fall final presentation. Over the winter break, we finalized the technical specifications of the Night Owl app.

  • Layane El Wazzi, Florence Hitti, and Amal Kassem - "Optimizing Wakilni's Operations and Developing its Pricing Strategy"

Our team decided to take on the optimization of the routing scheme and pricing model of an emerging start-up called Wakilni (WK). WK offers a pick/up delivery service and governmental transactions services upon orders placed online or on the phone. The spectrum of orders placed ranges from ordering something very minor to something of greater importance. Moreover, their clients fall into one of the 3 categories: online, offline and personal. Online and offline customers are B to B, whereas personal customers are B to C. Being a delivery service, one of the most important factors for an efficient system is finding an optimal routing scheme, which is what we aimed to achieve through a Vehicle Routing Problem model. On the other hand, knowing that WK doesn't have a pricing strategy, we were inclined to develop a tailored and suitable pricing model to maximize WK's profit.

  • Rayan Fayyad, Wissam Husseiki, Wael Aridi, and Sam Hajjar -" Facilities Planning and Simulation for a Mosaic Manufacturing Firm"

The project will be targeting the mosaic factory of Safa Group, located in Nabeh Al Safa. The interest of this project is mainly driven by the fact the factory is not currently operating, so the impact of the results regarding the factory operations is huge. The objectives pursued are related to the facilities planning of the factory, the work measurements to be followed, and ergonomic planning for a safe work environment. To date, work has been done at the level of facilities planning, including AutoCAD models and simulation. In addition, an ergonomic study was conducted to maintain a work environment that is operator-friendly. The conclusion in regards to this project is that it is promising, and working on a factory from scratch brings great benefit to the company to have a factory plan formulated to be executed.

  • Jad Raphael Mansour, Hussein Jundi, Amin Ladki, and Rashad Abou Karroum- "The Effect
    of Vigilance Decrements on the Performance of Security Guards Monitoring
    Surveillance Cameras"

This report discuss the application of eye tracking to detect vigilance decrements for CCTV security surveillance guards in control rooms. Research has demonstrated that a decline in vigilance (the decrease in sustained attention) does occur after doing a certain task for a period. This decrease in sustained attention can be a dangerous and a critical error in tasks where attention is required to maintain safety and prevent any harmful consequences. The objective of this paper is to study how a CCTV guard tasked to monitor multiple video feeds on a screen faces vigilance decrements with time. It will also be used to find which eye tracking metrics best reflects vigilance decrements. To do so, we designed an experiment that uses eye-tracking. We recruited 10 people and we asked them to look for targets in CCTV. Finally, we developed a prediction model that helped in detecting vigilance decrements in real time based on the experiment results. This prediction model feeds in our adaptive interface to detect the guard's vigilance levels and act accordingly.

  • Mickael Marchi Mekari, Ali Karim, Ahmad El Nakib, and Sami Assaf- " Inventory Control, Production Planning & Warehouse Management Systems Optimization for LibanJus S.A.L"

This project is conducted in collaboration with LibanJus S.A.L., a fast paced-consumer goods firm headquartered in Hazmieh, Lebanon. Its products include some of Lebanon's favorite and fastest selling juices, ice creams and dairy products.  The main emphasis of this project will be to improve sales forecasts. Improved forecasts will give decision-makers more confidence in predicting future production and storage requirements. Moreover, upon analyzing the data with advanced statistical and machine learning algorithms, we hope to find patterns identification ​methods that can lead to better demand forecasting, allowing for better long-term strategical planning. The ultimate goal, completed in the second part of the project, will be to optimize the firm's management systems. With accurate sales predictions, and an impro​ved warehouse management system, based on an optimized mathematical model for product allocation in the warehouse; we hope to reduce unnecessary wastes, and thus upgrade part of the company's supply chain.

  • Kamal Mafhouz, Edmond Rizk, Joseph Kotait, and Mira El Bahri-" The Optimization of a Supermarket Process"

The supermarket industry in Lebanon is dominated by many firms, which are trying to gain competitive advantage over each other. The key advantage a supermarket can gain is estimating the exact demand of goods needed for inventory, to avoid stock-outs and excess demand from occurring. This Final Year Project aims at optimizing the supply chain of a supermarket in the Ashrafieh area: Charcutier Aoun; more precisely the path of perishable goods from the warehouse to the store shelf. The team will be following the DMAIC process during the entire year since this data-driven strategy is renowned for its improvements on such processes.  ​


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