Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 1992


Richard F. Deckro

Course Title

Operations Research in Engineering Management

Course Number

EMGT 640


This project models and optimizes operation of a heat treatment furnace department of a foundry. Heat treatment furnace operation involves different operational temperatures, durations and atmospheres. It is inherently a batch process, but may be modeled as a linear program. The objective is to develop a tool to allow a weekly operational plan providing operators with a cost optimal strategy. Two methods were developed, one was formulated using pounds of furnace capacity and one using furnace time as variables. Both methods provided solutions, but the furnace hours best represented the nature of the problem. The program solutions provide a method to lower operational costs while providing insight to the characteristics of the process. The program may be rerun for any changes such as equipment failure or new parts to run, and a new department operation plan developed.


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This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University.

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