It is often difficult to inspect the material quality in the procurement process. In many cases, the true quality may only be revealed after several manufacturing processes or at the final test of the finished goods. This study employs a hybrid strategy consisting of predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics. The former considers the production characteristics and estimates the probability distribution of the material quality using a simulation optimization technique known as optimal computing budget allocation. The latter optimizes the feeding portfolio of the material allocation into the production line according to the customer's order specification. This study develops a virtual material quality investigation (VMQI) system considering the hybrid strategy and including four modules. An empirical study of a solar cell manufacturer in Taiwan validates the proposed VMQI system. The results show that the VMQI system improves the solution quality by at least 30% and potentially reduces the production cost by 19.8%.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering