Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 319

Search results for: Flexibility

319 The Role of Strategic Flexibility for Achieving Sustainable Competition Advantage and Its Effect on Business Performance

Authors: K. Eryesil, O. Esmen, A. Beduk

Abstract:

In this study, it has been studied to determine the relationship between business performance and strategic flexibility, which is defined to be the strategic choice that provides the ability of rapidly responding the changes of the dynamic environment of the companies, for having competitive advantages. In this context a field study has been conducted over 56 companies, which are active in informatics and electronics sectors in TEKNOKENT. As a result of the study it has been determined that; strategic flexibility has an effect on business performance and there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between strategic flexibility and business performance.

Keywords: Sustainable Competition Advantage, Strategic Flexibility, Firm Performance, TEKNOKENT.

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318 IS Flexibility Planning for IT/Business Strategy Alignment via Future Oriented POC Analysis

Authors: Masaru Furukawa, Shigeki Hirobayashi, Tadanobu Misawa

Abstract:

Nowadays, IT/Business strategy alignment is still a key topic of concern among managers worldwide. Change has always being considered the primary challenge affecting the strategy alignment. Planning for alignment in uncertain and dynamic changing environments is burdened with risk as organizations seek to understand how much flexibility to build in their management information system so as to maintain high levels of alignment. The literature review showed that there is a tight relationship between IT infrastructure flexibility and the strategy alignment with strategic information systems (SIS) planning serving as a moderator of this relationship, and that emphasized the needs for organizations to use SIS planning consistently and to monitor the relationship between IS flexibility and the alignment. This paper presents the procedure of SIS planning with IS flexibility renovation via future oriented analysis of POC (penalty of change) as a function of cost and time. Using this SIS planning and monitoring IS flexibility and the alignment during periods of increased change in dynamic and uncertain environments reduces the risk that could transform IT into an inhibitor rather than an enabler of change.

Keywords: IT/Business strategy alignment, strategic information systems (SIS) planning, IS flexibility, penalty of change (POC).

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317 Impact of Flexibility on Patient Satisfaction and Behavioral Intention: A Critical Reassessment and Model Development

Authors: Pradeep Kumar, Shibashish Chakraborty, Sasadhar Bera

Abstract:

In the anticipation of demand fluctuations, services cannot be inventoried and hence it creates a difficult problem in marketing of services. The inability to meet customers (patients) requirements in healthcare context has more serious consequences than other service sectors. In order to meet patient requirements in the current uncertain environment, healthcare organizations are seeking ways for improved service delivery. Flexibility provides a mechanism for reducing variability in service encounters and improved performance. Flexibility is defined as the ability of the organization to cope with changing circumstances or instability caused by the environment. Patient satisfaction is an important performance outcome of healthcare organizations. However, the paucity of information exists in healthcare delivery context to examine the impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. The present study is an attempt to develop a conceptual foundation for investigating overall impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Several dimensions of flexibility in healthcare context are examined and proposed to have a significant impact on patient satisfaction and intention. Furthermore, the study involves a critical examination of determinants of patient satisfaction and development of a comprehensive view the relationship between flexibility, patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Finally, theoretical contributions and implications for healthcare professionals are suggested from flexibility perspective.

Keywords: Healthcare, flexibility, patient satisfaction, behavioral intention.

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316 A View of Flexible Housing in China

Authors: Shanshan Li

Abstract:

Beginning with the debate of concept, this essay explains the historical source and development of flexible housing in China. In the former part, the flexibility contained in traditional house is explored. While in the latter, the relevant practices in modern times are systematically analyzed as three phases–the Embryonic Period (1949 - 1980), the Systematic Practice (1981 - 2000), as well as the Integrated Trend and Prosperity (2001 - present). As a conclusion, the generalized flexibility is tentatively discussed.

Keywords: Flexibility, Long-term effectiveness, Variety, Social background.

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315 Improving the Flexibility of Employment in Polish Economic Practice

Authors: A. Bodak, A. Cierniak-Emerych, M. Gableta, A. Pietroń-Pyszczek, K. Piwowar-Sulej

Abstract:

Modern organizations operate under the pressure of dynamic and often unpredictable changes, both in external and internal environment. Market success, in this context, requires a particular competence in the form of flexibility, interpreted here both on the level of individuals and on the level of organization. This paper addresses the changes taking place in the sphere of employment, as observed in economic entities operating on Polish market. Based on own empirical studies, the authors focus on the progressing trend of ‘flexibilization’ of employment, particularly in the context of transformations in organizational structure, designed to facilitate the transition into management by projects and differentiation of labor forms.

Keywords: Flexibility of employment, changes in organizational structure, forms of employment, social effects of flexibility.

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314 When Psychology Meets Ecology: Cognitive Flexibility for Quarry Rehabilitation

Authors: J. Fenianos, C. Khater, D. Brouillet

Abstract:

Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.

Keywords: Acceptability, ecological restoration, environmental psychology, Lebanon, local communities, resistance to change.

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313 Flexible Manufacturing System

Authors: Peter Kostal, Karol Velisek

Abstract:

Flexible manufacturing system is a system that is able to respond to changed conditions. In general, this flexibility is divided into two key categories and several subcategories. The first category is the so called machine flexibility which enables to make various products by the given machinery. The second category is routing flexibility enabling to execute the same operation by various machines. Flexible manufacturing systems usually consist of three main parts: CNC machine tools, transport system and control system. A higher level of flexible manufacturing systems is represented by the so called intelligent manufacturing systems.

Keywords: drawing-free manufacturing, flexible manufacturing system, industrial robot, material flow.

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312 Effectiveness of Working Memory Training on Cognitive Flexibility

Authors: Leila Maleki, Ezatollah Ahmadi

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of memory training exercise on cognitive flexibility. The method of this study was experimental. The statistical population selected 40 students 14 years old, samples were chosen by available sampling method and then they were replaced in experimental (training program) group and control group randomly and answered to Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; covariance test results indicated that there were a significant in post-test scores of experimental group (p<0.005).

Keywords: Cognitive flexibility, working memory exercises, problem solving, reaction time.

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311 The Effect of Pilates Method in Scholar’s Trunk Strength and Hamstring Flexibility: Gender Differences

Authors: Noelia González-Gálvez, María Carrasco Poyatos, Pablo Jorge Marcos Pardo, Yuri Feito

Abstract:

Musculoskeletal injuries in school children could be reduced improving trunk strength and hamstring flexibility. Low levels of trunk muscle strength and hamstring flexibility may result in acute and musculoskeletal chronic diseases. The Pilates Method can be appropriate to improve these physical condition attributes and has been rarely employed by this social group. On the other hand, it has been shown that trunk strength and flexibility are different between genders, but there is no evidence about the effect of exercise programs designed to improve both items in school children. Therefore the objective of this study was to measure the effect of a six-week Pilates-based exercise program in 14 year old school children trunk strength and hamstring flexibility, establishing differences in gender. The sample was composed of 57 students divided into experimental group (EG; n=30) and control group (CG; n=27). Bench Trunk Curl test (BTC), Sörensen test and Toe-touch test (TT) were used to measure dynamic muscular resistance in trunk flexion, isometric strength in trunk extension and hamstring flexibility, respectively. EG utilized the Pilates exercise program during six-weeks (2 days/week, 55minutes/session). After this period of training, EG improved trunk strength and hamstring flexibility significantly but there were no significant differences within CG. Although boys were better in BTC test and girls were better in TT test, there were no significant differences between them.

Keywords: Teens, school, trunk muscular resistance, intervention, physical performance, abdominal, back.

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310 Capacity Flexibility within Production

Authors: Johannes Nywlt, Julian Becker, Sebastian Bertsch

Abstract:

Due to high dynamics in current markets the expectations regarding logistics increase steadily. However, the complexity and variety of products and production make it difficult to understand the interdependencies between logistical objectives and their determining factors. Therefore specific models are needed to meet this challenge. The Logistic Operating Curves Theory is such a model. With its aid the basic correlations between the logistic objectives can be described. Within this model the capacity flexibility represents an important parameter. However, a proper mathematical description for this parameter is still missing. Within this paper such a description will be developed in order to make the Logistic Operating Curves Theory more accurate.

Keywords: Capacity flexibility, Production controlling, Production logistics, Production management.

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309 RFU Based Computational Unit Design For Reconfigurable Processors

Authors: M. Aqeel Iqbal

Abstract:

Fully customized hardware based technology provides high performance and low power consumption by specializing the tasks in hardware but lacks design flexibility since any kind of changes require re-design and re-fabrication. Software based solutions operate with software instructions due to which a great flexibility is achieved from the easy development and maintenance of the software code. But this execution of instructions introduces a high overhead in performance and area consumption. In past few decades the reconfigurable computing domain has been introduced which overcomes the traditional trades-off between flexibility and performance and is able to achieve high performance while maintaining a good flexibility. The dramatic gains in terms of chip performance and design flexibility achieved through the reconfigurable computing systems are greatly dependent on the design of their computational units being integrated with reconfigurable logic resources. The computational unit of any reconfigurable system plays vital role in defining its strength. In this research paper an RFU based computational unit design has been presented using the tightly coupled, multi-threaded reconfigurable cores. The proposed design has been simulated for VLIW based architectures and a high gain in performance has been observed as compared to the conventional computing systems.

Keywords: Configuration Stream, Configuration overhead, Configuration Controller, Reconfigurable devices.

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308 Impact of Flexibility on Residential Buildings in Egypt

Authors: Aly Mohamed El Husseiny, Azza Ezz Abdelkader

Abstract:

There is a critical thin line between freedom of choice and randomness. The distance between imagination and perception and between perception and execution varies depending on numerous factors. While in developed areas residents have the opportunity and abilities to build flexible homes, residents in developing areas create their own dwellings in informal settlements, even though none of them is comfortable at home in the long run. This paper explores three factors: What residents really need, what they do with limited flexibility, and what they do when there are no limits, as in the case of informal settlements. This paper studies alteration to residential buildings and how they connect to the changes in people’s lifecycle in all past cases. This study also examines all approaches to flexibility, focusing on a social approach. The results of this study are based on three practical studies: Interviews with residents in an informal settlement (Eshash Mahfouz in Minya in Egypt), a civil study of buildings in a middle-class district, and a survey of residents from many countries, including Egypt, and interviews with a number of them to determine residents’ needs and the extent of renovations they made or would like to make to their homes.

Keywords: Flexibility, housing, freedom of choice, social, changes, residents.

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307 Poly(Lactic Acid) Based Flexible Films

Authors: Fathilah binti Ali, Jamarosliza Jamaluddin, Arun Kumar Upadhyay

Abstract:

Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is a biodegradable polymer which has good mechanical properties, however, its brittleness limits its usage especially in packaging materials. Therefore, in this work, PLA based polyurethane films were prepared by synthesizing with different types of isocyanates; methylene diisocyanate (MDI) and hexamethylene diisocyanates (HDI). For this purpose, PLA based polyurethane must have good strength and flexibility. Therefore, polycaprolactone which has better flexibility were prepared with PLA. An effective way to endow polylactic acid with toughness is through chain-extension reaction of the polylactic acid pre-polymer with polycaprolactone used as chain extender. Polyurethane prepared from MDI showed brittle behaviour, while, polyurethane prepared from HDI showed flexibility at same concentrations.

Keywords: Biodegradable polymer, flexible, poly(lactic acid), polyurethane.

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306 Flexibility in Modular Furniture Systems in Open Offices, Famagusta, North Cyprus

Authors: E. Farjami, La. Mohammadzadeh Afshar, Li. Mohammadzade Afshar, A. Taran

Abstract:

Nowadays, flexibility introduced as a modern technology in furniture systems especially in interior planning design. According to results, the most important impact of these systems can be seen on open plan design that makes workspaces comfortable and increases the productivity of employees besides making good relationship between them. Briefly, there are some factors along with new systems in furniture design help create inappropriate space to make working better and easier while it has modular planning organization. It brings about some approaches to have a successful space for open offices with modular design and flexible furniture systems. These approaches have been investigated in open and close offices at Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) in Famagusta, Cyprus, using information extracted from questionnaires.

Keywords: Flexibility, Flexible Furniture, Modular design, Open offices, Modular furniture systems.

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305 Analysis of Lower Extremity Muscle Flexibility among Indian Classical Bharathnatyam Dancers

Authors: V. Anbarasi, David V Rajan, K. Adalarasu

Abstract:

Musculoskeletal problems are common in high performance dance population. This study attempts to identify lower extremity muscle flexibility parameters prevailing among bharatanatyam dancers and analyze if there is any significant difference exist between normal and injured dancers in flexibility parameters. Four hundred and one female dancers and 17 male dancers were participated in this study. Flexibility parameters (hamstring tightness, hip internal and external rotation and tendoachilles in supine and sitting posture) were measured using goniometer. Results of our study it is evident that injured female bharathnatyam dancers had significantly (p < 0.05) high hamstring tightness on left side lower extremity compared to normal female dancers. The range of motion for left tendoachilles was significantly (p < 0.05) high for the normal female group when compared to injured dancers during supine lying posture. Majority of the injured dancers had high hamstring tightness that could be a possible reason for pain and MSDs.

Keywords: External rotation (ER), Internal rotation (IR), Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), Range of motion (ROM)

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304 Dynamic Active Earth Pressure on Flexible Cantilever Retaining Wall

Authors: Snehal R. Pathak, Sachin S. Munnoli

Abstract:

Evaluation of dynamic earth pressure on retaining wall is a topic of primary importance. In present paper, dynamic active earth pressure and displacement of flexible cantilever retaining wall has been evaluated analytically using 2-DOF mass-spring-dashpot model by incorporating both wall and backfill properties. The effect of wall flexibility on dynamic active earth pressure and wall displacement are studied and presented in graphical form. The obtained results are then compared with the various conventional methods, experimental analysis and also with PLAXIS analysis. It is observed that the dynamic active earth pressure decreases with increase in the wall flexibility while wall displacement increases linearly with flexibility of the wall. The results obtained by proposed 2-DOF analytical model are found to be more realistic and economical.

Keywords: Earth pressure, earthquake, 2-DOF model, plaxis, wall movement, retaining walls.

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303 The Effect of Postural Anomalies on SAQ, Muscular Strength and Flexibility Performance of the Semipro Soccer Athletes

Authors: Rahmat A, Radin Rafeeuddin R. D., Norasrudin S., Mastura M.

Abstract:

The objective of the study is to investigate the effect of a footballer-s postural on selected physical fitness components. Twenty-one (21) subjects of the university male footballers under the Sport Excellence Center programme were photographed using qualitative analysis. The postural variables were stratified manually into normal and anomalies group and their flexibility, strength and SAQ performance were compared using the Mann-Whitney Test. The AROM assessment and SAQ test reported no significance difference (Z=-.398, p=0.711, p>0.05), similar to the lower body strength was shown with no significance different (Z=-.493, p=0.640, p>0.05). In contrast, only 1 RM strength test for the upper body strength test shown with a significance different (Z=- 2.537, p=0.009, p<0.05) the. Hence, the Body posture among the football athletes with anomalies does not influence selected physical fitness components. This study has proven, that postural anomalies will not affect or influence the physical performance the respective athletes.

Keywords: Postural Analysis, Anomalies, Flexibility, Strength, SAQ.

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302 Systematic Approach for Energy-Supply-Orientated Production Planning

Authors: F. Keller, G. Reinhart

Abstract:

The efficient and economic allocation of resources is one main goal in the field of production planning and control. Nowadays, a new variable gains in importance throughout the planning process: Energy. Energy-efficiency has already been widely discussed in literature, but with a strong focus on reducing the overall amount of energy used in production. This paper provides a brief systematic approach, how energy-supply-orientation can be used for an energy-cost-efficient production planning and thus combining the idea of energy-efficiency and energy-flexibility.

Keywords: Production planning and control, energy, efficiency, flexibility.

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301 Three Dimensional Dynamic Analysis of Water Storage Tanks Considering FSI Using FEM

Authors: S. Mahdi S. Kolbadi, Ramezan Ali Alvand, Afrasiab Mirzaei

Abstract:

In this study, to investigate and analyze the seismic behavior of concrete in open rectangular water storage tanks in two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces, the Finite Element Method has been used. Through this method, dynamic responses can be investigated together in fluid storages system. Soil behavior has been simulated using tanks boundary conditions in linear form. In this research, in addition to flexibility of wall, the effects of fluid-structure interaction on seismic response of tanks have been investigated to account for the effects of flexible foundation in linear boundary conditions form, and a dynamic response of rectangular tanks in two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces using finite element method has been provided. The boundary conditions of both rigid and flexible walls in two-dimensional finite element method have been considered to investigate the effect of wall flexibility on seismic response of fluid and storage system. Furthermore, three-dimensional model of fluid-structure interaction issue together with wall flexibility has been analyzed under the three components of earthquake. The obtained results show that two-dimensional model is also accurately near to the results of three-dimension as well as flexibility of foundation leads to absorb received energy and relative reduction of responses.

Keywords: Dynamic behavior, water storage tank, fluid-structure interaction, flexible wall.

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300 Conceptual Method for Flexible Business Process Modeling

Authors: Adla Bentellis, Zizette Boufaïda

Abstract:

Nowadays, the pace of business change is such that, increasingly, new functionality has to be realized and reliably installed in a matter of days, or even hours. Consequently, more and more business processes are prone to a continuous change. The objective of the research in progress is to use the MAP model, in a conceptual modeling method for flexible and adaptive business process. This method can be used to capture the flexibility dimensions of a business process; it takes inspiration from modularity concept in the object oriented paradigm to establish a hierarchical construction of the BP modeling. Its intent is to provide a flexible modeling that allows companies to quickly adapt their business processes.

Keywords: Business Process, Business process modeling, flexibility, MAP Model.

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299 Analysis of Cost Estimation and Payment Systems for Consultant Contracts in the US, Japan, China and the UK

Authors: Shih-Hsu Wang, Yuan-Yuan Cheng, Ming-Tsung Lee, Wei-Chih Wang

Abstract:

Determining reasonable fees is the main objective of designing the cost estimation and payment systems for consultant contracts. However, project clients utilize different cost estimation and payment systems because of their varying views on the reasonableness of consultant fees. This study reviews the cost estimation and payment systems of consultant contracts for five countries, including the US (Washington State Department of Transportation), Japan (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), China (Engineering Design Charging Standard) and UK (Her Majesty's Treasure). Specifically, this work investigates the budgeting process, contractor selection method, contractual price negotiation process, cost review, and cost-control concept of the systems used in these countries. The main finding indicates that that project client-s view on whether the fee is high will affect the way he controls it. In the US, the fee is commonly considered to be high. As a result, stringent auditing system (low flexibility given to the consultant) is then applied. In the UK, the fee is viewed to be low by comparing it to the total life-cycle project cost. Thus, a system that has high flexibility in budgeting and cost reviewing is given to the consultant. In terms of the flexibility allowed for the consultant, the systems applied in Japan and China fall between those of the US and UK. Both the US and UK systems are helpful in determining a reasonable fee. However, in the US system, rigid auditing standards must be established and additional cost-audit manpower is required. In the UK system, sufficient historical cost data should be needed to evaluate the reasonableness of the consultant-s proposed fee

Keywords: Consultant Services, Cost Estimation and Payment System, Payment Flexibility, Cost-control Concept

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298 Design Approach for the Development of Format-Flexible Packaging Machines

Authors: G. Götz, P. Stich, J. Backhaus, G. Reinhart

Abstract:

The rising demand for format-flexible packaging machines is caused by current market changes. Increasing the formatflexibility is a new goal for the packaging machine manufacturers’ product development process. There are no methodical or designorientated tools for a comprehensive consideration of this target. This paper defines the term format-flexibility in the context of packaging machines and shows the state-of-the-art for improving the changeover of production machines. The requirements for a new approach and the concept itself will be introduced, and the method elements will be explained. Finally, the use of the concept and the result of the development of a format-flexible packaging machine will be shown.

Keywords: Packaging machine, format-flexibility, changeover, design method.

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297 Supporting Embedded Medical Software Development with MDevSPICE® and Agile Practices

Authors: Surafel Demissie, Frank Keenan, Fergal McCaffery

Abstract:

Emerging medical devices are highly relying on embedded software that runs on the specific platform in real time. The development of embedded software is different from ordinary software development due to the hardware-software dependency. MDevSPICE® has been developed to provide guidance to support such development. To increase the flexibility of this framework agile practices have been introduced. This paper outlines the challenges for embedded medical device software development and the structure of MDevSPICE® and suggests a suitable combination of agile practices that will help to add flexibility and address corresponding challenges of embedded medical device software development.

Keywords: Agile practices, challenges, embedded software, MDevSPICE®, medical device.

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296 An Integrated Mixed-Integer Programming Model to Address Concurrent Project Scheduling and Material Ordering

Authors: Babak H. Tabrizi, Seyed Farid Ghaderi

Abstract:

Concurrent planning of project scheduling and material ordering can provide more flexibility to the project scheduling problem, as the project execution costs can be enhanced. Hence, the issue has been taken into account in this paper. To do so, a mixed-integer mathematical model is developed which considers the aforementioned flexibility, in addition to the materials quantity discount and space availability restrictions. Moreover, the activities duration has been treated as decision variables. Finally, the efficiency of the proposed model is tested by different instances. Additionally, the influence of the aforementioned parameters is investigated on the model performance.

Keywords: Material ordering, project scheduling, quantity discount, space availability.

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295 Simulation Modeling of Manufacturing Systems for the Serial Route and the Parallel One

Authors: Tadeusz Witkowski, Paweł Antczak, Arkadiusz Antczak

Abstract:

In the paper we discuss the influence of the route flexibility degree, the open rate of operations and the production type coefficient on makespan. The flexible job-open shop scheduling problem FJOSP (an extension of the classical job shop scheduling) is analyzed. For the analysis of the production process we used a hybrid heuristic of the GRASP (greedy randomized adaptive search procedure) with simulated annealing algorithm. Experiments with different levels of factors have been considered and compared. The GRASP+SA algorithm has been tested and illustrated with results for the serial route and the parallel one.

Keywords: Makespan, open shop, route flexibility, serial and parallel route, simulation modeling, type of production.

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294 Design and Analysis of Piping System with Supports Using CAESAR-II

Authors: M. Jamuna Rani, K. Ramanathan

Abstract:

A steam power plant is housed with various types of equipments like boiler, turbine, heat exchanger etc. These equipments are mainly connected with piping systems. Such a piping layout design depends mainly on stress analysis and flexibility. It will vary with respect to pipe geometrical properties, pressure, temperature, and supports. The present paper is to analyze the presence and effect of hangers and expansion joints in the piping layout/routing using CAESAR-II software. Main aim of piping stress analysis is to provide adequate flexibility for absorbing thermal expansion, code compliance for stresses and displacement incurred in piping system. The design is said to be safe if all these are in allowable range as per code. In this study, a sample problem is considered for analysis as per power piping ASME B31.1 code and the results thus obtained are compared.

Keywords: ASTM B31.1, hanger, expansion joint, CAESAR-II.

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293 Modernization of the Economic Price Adjustment Software

Authors: Roger L Goodwin

Abstract:

The US Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) measures hundreds of items in the US economy. Many social programs and government benefits index to the CPIs. The purpose of this project is to modernize an existing process. This paper will show the development of a small, visual, software product that documents the Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) for longterm contracts. The existing workbook does not provide the flexibility to calculate EPAs where the base-month and the option-month are different. Nor does the workbook provide automated error checking. The small, visual, software product provides the additional flexibility and error checking. This paper presents the feedback to project.

Keywords: Consumer Price Index, Economic Price Adjustment, contracts, visualization tools, database, reports, forms, event procedures.

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292 Knowledge Acquisition as Determinant of Outputs of Innovative Business in Regions of the Czech Republic

Authors: P. Hajek, J. Stejskal

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to analyze the ability to identify and acquire knowledge from external sources at the regional level in the Czech Republic. The results show that the most important sources of knowledge for innovative activities are sources within the businesses themselves, followed by customers and suppliers. Furthermore, the analysis of relationships between the objective of the innovative activity and the ability to identify and acquire knowledge implies that knowledge obtained from (1) customers aims at replacing outdated products and increasing product quality; (2) suppliers aims at increasing capacity and flexibility of production; and (3) competing businesses aims at growing market share and increasing the flexibility of production and services. Regions should therefore direct their support especially into development and strengthening of networks within the value chain.

Keywords: Knowledge, acquisition, innovative business, Czech republic, region.

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291 An Agent-Based Scheduling Framework for Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Authors: Iman Badr

Abstract:

The concept of flexible manufacturing is highly appealing in gaining a competitive edge in the market by quickly adapting to the changing customer needs. Scheduling jobs on flexible manufacturing systems (FMSs) is a challenging task of managing the available flexibility on the shop floor to react to the dynamics of the environment in real-time. In this paper, an agent-oriented scheduling framework that can be integrated with a real or a simulated FMS is proposed. This framework works in stochastic environments with a dynamic model of job arrival. It supports a hierarchical cooperative scheduling that builds on the available flexibility of the shop floor. Testing the framework on a model of a real FMS showed the capability of the proposed approach to overcome the drawbacks of the conventional approaches and maintain a near optimal solution despite the dynamics of the operational environment.

Keywords: Autonomous agents, Flexible manufacturing systems(FMS), Manufacturing scheduling, Real-time systems.

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290 Talent Selection for Present Conception of Women Sports Gymnastics and Practical Verification of the Test Battery

Authors: G. Bago, P. Hedbávný, M. Kalichová

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The aim of the contribution is to project and consequently verify a testing battery which in practice would facilitate the selection of talented gymnasts for current concept of men´ s gymnastics. Based on study of professional literature a test array consisting of three parts projected – power testing, speed testing and flexibility testing– was projected. The evaluating scales used in the tests are standardized. This test array was applied to girls aged 6 - 7 during recruitment for Sokol Brno I. and SG Pelhrimov Gymnastic Club. After 6 months of training activity the projected set of tests was applied again. The results were evaluated through observation and questionnaire and they were consequently transformed into charts. Recommendation for practice was proposed based on these results.

Keywords: Talent selection, sports gymnastics, power testing, speed testing, flexibility testing.

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