SYSTEM FOR OPTIMIZING THE METHOD OF RECEIVING ULDS FROM FLIGHTS
Dan Bouhnik, Leah Abrams-Yomtovyan, Oshrat Madar, Ronen Nisan
Industrial Engineering Department, Jerusalem College of Technology
Many air cargo companies struggle with the disassembling and assembling air cargo challenge. Effort is invested in these companies to improve and shorten the relevant processes due to regulations. So far, the achieved improvements have obtained minor results. This research offers an algorithm for an optimal ULD (unit load devices) treatment at air cargo operations. The algorithm creates an efficient work order, which brings significant improvement to the work process. There are many transformations such as lightening the burden of workers; improving the quality of work; customer satisfaction from receiving the cargo neatly and quickly; savings in storage and retrieval operations from the automated warehouse; helping prevent errors and minimizing package allotment with incorrect AWBs (air waybill). The method takes into consideration the reciprocal relations between the ULDs disassembling and open storage cages on the sorting floor. The developed algorithm handles the ULDs as a function of the Number of ULD, AWB, the total amount of cages that would be open on the sorting floor and system constraints.
An examination of seven companies across the globe, which handle air cargo, has revealed that the disassembling process is carried out randomly rather than by any algorithm. Furthermore, the algorithm we describe, handles cases in which a number of AWB`s are on a single ULD or are divided between a number of ULD`s. These complicated situations increase the importance of an algorithm which brings about an optimal solution. In our research we demonstrated an algorithm that is composed of three phases in order to solve the complex situation of disassembling ULDs in air cargo operations. In terms of running time, it is clear that sub-algorithm one is the fastest. In terms of TAOC, sub-algorithm two achieves an optimal result, but to reach this the running time is substantially long. Therefore, the implementation of sub-algorithm two is not realistic in the production process. To overcome this significant obstacle, we developed an optimal algorithm by cutting the run time by adding cutoffs in the permutation function to reduce the amount of the permutations. By doing so, the running time was reduced by 73%-86%. The algorithm, handles cases in which a number of AWB`s are on a single ULD or are divided between a number of ULD`s. These complicated situations increase the importance of an algorithm which brings about an optimal solution.