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
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
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 improved 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.