Article published in the European Journal of Operational Research


Becker, Tristan; Lier, Stefan; Werners, Brigitte (2019): Value of modular production concepts in future chemical industry production networks

Innovative modular production plants of the chemical industry of process modules from a toolbox are composed to process lines via standardized interfaces. A plant consists of numerous containers, which can be used either identically to increase production capacity. These containers can be used or differently, as well in order to achieve a broader product spectrum.

Modular production concepts can be used to serve such volatile customer demand more efficiently. Modular plants increase the tactical flexibility of the supply chain substantially compared to centralized production with large-scale plants.

Furthermore, production facilities can be flexibly opened, deactivated and reactivated. Modular plants can be relocated in the medium term, and their production capabilities can be reconfigured via process module changes. The containers can be reconfigured or moved between locations and can be established at short notice at a certain location. These formulations prescribe the volume, location, and process of modular plants in the production network over a multi-period planning horizon.