Comparative Study of GPS-Integrated Concrete Supply Management using Discrete Event Simulation
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The management of vehicular supply of "perishable" construction material, such as concrete mixes, faces a series of uncertainties such as weather, daily traffic patterns and accidents. Presented in this paper is a logistics control model for managing a hauling fleet with interrelated processes at both ends and queue capacities. Discrete event simulation is used to model the complex interactions of production units and the randomness of the real world. Two alternative strategies for ready mix concrete delivery, with and without an off-site waiting queue, are studied to compare supply performance. Secondly, the paper discusses the effect of an agent-based GPS tracking system providing real-time travel data that lessens the uncertainty of trucking time. The results show that the combination of GPS information with off-site queuing reduces productivity loss and process wastes of concrete placement as well as the idleness of supply trucks when crew or pump experience an unexpected stoppage.
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