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Industrial engineering has developed in the past 250 years. Five different phases of industrial engineering have almost passed. These phases are:

Phase 1: Pre-Industrial Revolution Era (up to early 1800s)

Phase 2: Industrial Revolution (early 1800s to late 1800s)

Phase 3: Scientific Management Phase (1890 to 1940)

Phase 4: Operations Research and Quantitative Phase (late 1940s to early 1980s)

Phase 5: Automation and Computer Integrated Manufacturing Phase (since early 1980s)

The future trend is towards more automation, computer controlled manufacturing, information handling through computers, and integration of manufacturing systems.

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9y ago
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11y ago

The phases of OR are

1 Observe the problem environment

2 Analyse and define the problem

3 Develop a model

4 Selection of data input

5 solution and testing

6 Implementation of the solution

In detail

Step I. Observe the Problem Environment

The first step of OR study is the observation of the environment in which the problem exists. The

activities that constitute this step are visits, conferences, observations, research etc. with the help of

such activities, the OR analyst gets sufficient information and support to proceed and is better prepared

to formulate the problem.

Step II. Analyse and Define the Problem

In this step not only the problem is defined but also uses, objectives and limitations of the study that are

stressed in the light of the problem. The end results of this step are clear grasp of need for a solution

and understanding of its nature.

Step III. Develop a Model

The next step is to develop model, which is representation of same real or abstract situation. OR models

are basically mathematical models representing systems, process or environment in form of equations,

relationships or formulae. The activities in this step is to defining interrelationships among variables,

formulating equations, using known OR models or searching suitable alternate models. The proposed

model may be field tested and modified in order to work under stated environmental constraints. A

model may also be modified if the management is not satisfied with the answer that it gives.

Step IV. Selection of Data Input

It is a established fact that without authentic and appropriate data the results of the OR models cannot

be trusted. Hence, taping right kind of data is a vital step in OR process. Important activities in this step

are analysing internal-external data and facts, collecting opinions and using computer data banks. The

purpose of this step is to have sufficient input to operate and test the model.

Step V. Solution and Testing

In this step the solution of the problems is obtained with the help of model and data input. Such a

solution is not implemented immediately and this solution is used to test the model and to find its

limitations if any. If the solution is not reasonable or if the model is not behaving properly, updating and

modification of the model is considered at this stage. The end result of this step is solution that is

desirable and supports current organisational objectives.

Step VI. Implementation of the Solution

This is the last phase of the OR study. In OR the decision-making is scientific but implementation of

decision involves many behavioural issues. Therefore, implementation authority has to resolve the

behavioural issues, involving the workers and supervisors to avoid further conflicts. The gap between

management and OR scientist may offer some resistance but must be eliminated before solution is

accepted in totality. Both the parties should play positive role, since the implementation will help the

organisation as a whole. A properly implemented solution obtained through OR techniques results in

improved working conditions and wins management support

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Q: What are the phases of Operations research?
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