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23 MAY 2019 Seminar

From TOC to Industry 4.0

Dr. Kan WU

Dr. Kan WU


This seminar includes two topics. The first one discussed the shortcomings of the conventional theory of constraints (TOC) and proposed a generalized process of ongoing improvement. The concept of TOC was proposed in the mid-1980s and has significantly impacted the productivity improvements in manufacturing systems. While it is intuitive and easy to understand, its conclusions are mainly derived from deterministic settings or based on the mean values. This paper generalizes the concept of TOC to stochastic settings through the performance analysis of queueing systems. The findings indicate that we should consider the dependence among stations and the cost of improvement options during productivity improvement. In the second part of the seminar, I will give a brief introduction of Industry 4.0 and demonstrate a cyber-physical production system which has been implemented in a semiconductor fab.  From the case study, you will see the realization of a smart factory and the future trend to improve the competitiveness of manufacturing systems.


Kan Wu is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University. He received the B.S. degree from National Tsinghua University, M.S. degree from University of California at Berkeley, and Ph.D. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has ten years of experience in the semiconductor industry, from a consultant to an IE manager. He has guided the development of scheduling and dispatching systems in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and ramped up a 300mm DRAM fab for Inotera Memories. Before joining NTU, he was the CTO and founding team member of a startup company in the US. His PhD dissertation was awarded the 3rd place for the IIE Pritsker Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2010. His research interests are primarily in the areas of queueing theory, with applications in the performance evaluation of supply chains and manufacturing systems. He currently owns 4 license agreements and 6 US patents in the field of semiconductor manufacturing.


HW 8-28


Dr. Kan WU


 23 May 2019 (Thursday)


11:50am – 12:50pm

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