Lyon, J., Park, J., Fradkin, Y., and Tornabene, J., "An Optimization Model for Reallocating Stamped Parts," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-0244, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0244.
We describe an optimization model developed by Ford Motor Company to reallocate stamped parts between facilities when business conditions change. How can the business meet new targets when demand starts to exceed existing capacity? Likewise, how can it respond when demand is lower than expected? Sometimes the business can reduce costs by transferring production to a different location or by outsourcing parts. We describe in this paper how mathematical optimization can identify solutions that balance both logistical and outsourcing costs. We explain the algorithm and demonstrate with a small example how it recommends sourcing plans that minimize cost.