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Combining optimisation and simulation to model a supply

Supplier: TSG
26 March, 2009

TSG Consulting presented a paper titled “Combining optimization and simulation to model a supply chain all the way from pit to port” at the recent AusIMM “Orebody Modelling and Strategic Mine Planning 2009”.




An export coal supply chain comprises of a number of complex sub-systems, such as mining, processing, transportation, stockyard management and vessel loading. Typically, the operation and performance of each sub-system is analysed in isolation, with little consideration of their interaction and interdependency of their upstream and downstream processes or sub-systems.

Discrete Event Simulation (DES) has proved to be a powerful tool in modelling various ore and coal supply chains, capturing the system dynamics and interactions, considering variability and uncertainty, and in evaluating the overall performance of the integrated system. However, where there are conflicts between maximizing production and achieving certain qualities of coal, optimization’s ability to rapidly consider hundreds of thousands of possibilities across multiple criteria and determine an optimal sub-system decision has proved very useful.

The authors have been successful in incorporating optimisation models that capture complex planning processes within DES models of export supply chains. This paper describes the approach taken and presents a case study of a successful implementation on the export supply chain of PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) in Indonesia.

To receive a copy of this paper, please contact us.