Reverse Blending: an economically efficient approach to the challenge of fertilizer mass customization
Benhamou, Latifa; Giard, Vincent; Khouloud, Mehdi; Fenies, Pierre; Fontane, Frédéric (2018), Reverse Blending: an economically efficient approach to the challenge of fertilizer mass customization, International Journal of Production Economics, 226, p. 107603. 10.1016/j.ijpe.2019.107603
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameInternational Journal of Production Economics
MetadataShow full item record
Laboratoire d'analyse et modélisation de systèmes pour l'aide à la décision [LAMSADE]
Abstract (EN)Reasoned fertilization, which is a major concern for sustainable and efficient agriculture, consists of applying customized fertilizers which requires a very large increase in the number of fertilizer formulae, involving increasing costs due to the multiplication of production batch, of storage areas and of transportation constraints. An alternative solution is given by adopting a Reverse blending, approach which is a new Blending Problem where inputs are non-pre-existing composite materials that need to be defined in both number and composition, simultaneously with the quantities to be used in the blending process, such as to meet the specifications of a wide variety of outputs, while keeping their number as small as possible. This would replace the production of a large variety of small batches of fertilizers by few large batches of new composite materials whose blending may be performed close to end-users (delayed differentiation), delivering substantial production and logistics cost savings, well in excess of remote blending costs. Reverse Blending presents some analogies with the Pooling Problem which is a two-stage Blending Problem where primary inputs are existing raw materials. An adapted version of this problem may be used to facilitate the design of new composite materials used by Reverse Blending. This paper presents the Reverse Blending approach, whose modeling is based on a quadratic programming formulation, and a large case study to demonstrate its feasibility. Reverse Blending, therefore, may be a disruptive approach to successfully reengineer not only the fertilizer supply chain but any other industry operating in blending contexts to meet a great diversity.
Subjects / Keywordsmass customization; continuous production; blending; composite material design; fertilizer, pooling problem
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