Packaging material selection (PMS) problems have always been important to packaging designers and engineers. Not only does the selection of packaging material determine the costs and the environmental impacts of packaging, but also influences packaging physical characteristics and associated manufacturing methods. In order to reduce economic and environmental impacts, one has to take a holistic approach to packaging material selection by considering material effects throughout the packaging life cycle. To evaluate economic costs and environmental impacts both quantitative factors and subjective criteria play an important role in the packaging design. In the present work, fuzzy set theory is used for representing and manipulating the vague and subjective descriptions of packaging performance and design attributes. Further a genetic algorithm based approach is used for addressing the packaging material selection problem through multiple criteria decision-making. The overall approach comprises of two phases. In the first phase, fuzzy set theory is used for the linguistic transformation of performance attributes into numerical values. It results in a decision matrix that contains crisp scores. Also in this phase, a weight is assigned to each sub-criterion to show its importance compared to others. In the second phase, a GA is used to globally search for near-optimal or optimal design solutions. The implementation of the proposed methodology is illustrated through a numerical example.
Returnable transport packaging plays an important role in facilitating the transfer of a large volume of products in a close-loop distribution network. To make effective use of returnable transport packaging, vehicle dispatching strategies are crucial. With an appropriate vehicle dispatching strategy, for example, a fast turnover time and a short waiting time for packaging dispatch can be achieved. However, there are some factors that directly influence vehicle dispatching strategies. These factors include the arrival demand fluctuations, the availability of serving vehicles, and the geographic proximity of the facility to the customer’s locations. In this study, authors investigate the effect of these factors on vehicle dispatching strategies for transport packaging by using a simulation modeling approach. This paper reports different performance outcomes obtained through various test cases.
The main thrust of returnable packaging these days is to provide logistical services through transportation and distribution of products and be environmentally friendly. Returnable packaging and reverse logistics concepts have converged to mitigate the adverse effect of packaging materials entering the solid waste stream. Returnable packaging must be designed by considering the trade-offs between costs and environmental impact to satisfy manufacturers and
environmentalists alike. The cost of returnable packaging entails such items as materials, manufacturing, collection, storage and disposal. Environmental impacts are explicitly linked with solid waste, air pollution, and water pollution. This paper presents a multi-criteria evaluation technique to assist decision-makers for evaluating the trade-offs in costs and environmental impact during the returnable packaging design process. The proposed evaluation technique involves a combination of multiple objective integer linear programming and analytic hierarchy process. A numerical example is
used to illustrate the methodology.