The origin of any industrial optimization study lies in the theory that some improvement can be made in a controllable system. The possibility for improvements may arise in any context, for example, in the control of a chemical plant, the organization of production to meet delivery dates, the design of rubber compounds, in traffic signal settings, and so on. In this volume, T. A. J. Nicholson deals with applications of the industrial optimization techniques demonstrated in the first volume of this two-part project, Optimization in Industry: Optimization Techniques.
Applications are classified by their main functional areas in industrial planning, design, and control. The fields covered are machine sequencing, stock control and scheduling, plant renewal, distribution, financial problems, and chemical process control and design. These last two, in particular, are subjects often overlooked in operations research curricula. In each field the place and status of optimization techniques is first described and then a wide range of realistic case studies and examples are reviewed, many of them international. The problems given in this volume are primarily concerned with formulation not with solution; the task is to formulate the problems to be solved by one or more of the methods described in volume one.
By connecting the optimization techniques with their applications, the gap between the people devising the methods and the people who actually need to use them is bridged. As with the first volume, this text is also supported by new exercises and model answers making this book important as an introduction to the application of optimization techniques for students as well as a reference work for the practitioner.