March 24, 2021
March 24, 2021
March 26, 2021
This paper describes the development and testing of two online lessons on the subject of inventory and production interactions, including visual simulations of the mathematical cause and effect between important production metrics. Little’s Law is a theorem studied by students in many different disciplines. It defines the relationship between the throughput, work in process, and cycle time of any system. The theorem is interesting because it is applicable to any number of systems with a queue. An assembly line of parts, a line of customers at a bank, a backlog of planes in a holding pattern over an airport, all follow the mathematics of Little’s Law. It’s often difficult for students to imagine the interactions between these metrics and how the entire system operates. The computer game Factorio, was used as a simulation tool to help students visualize and measure the interactions and verify optimization algorithms that were reviewed as part of the lesson plan. The lesson plans were developed for junior/senior level students who were studying production and inventory control specifically. The lesson plans were developed for use both in the classroom as well as stand-alone online modules for students to work through on their own.
Boardman, B. S., & Krejci, C. C. (2021, March), Simulation of Production and Inventory Control using the Computer Game Factorio Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/36402
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