Production Systems Engineering (PSE) is an emerging area of Engineering intended to provide quantitative analytical methods for analysis, continuous improvement, and design of production systems. Every problem has its origin on the factory floor. Every solution obtained in PSE has been applied on the factory floor. PSE uses traditional terms, such as bottleneck, leanness, continuous improvement, etc., but infuses them with precise engineering knowledge and, thereby, offers a possibility of designing and managing production systems with the highest efficiency and guaranteed performance.

The approach of PSE is based on mathematical modeling of serial lines and assembly systems, with subsequent analyses based on recursive aggregation procedures. As a result, methods for solving the following problems are derived: Performance analysis; Bottleneck identification; Continuous improvement; Lean buffering design; Product quality; Raw material release control to ensure desired lead time. To enable applications, the PSE Toolbox, which implements the algorithms obtained in PSE, has been developed.

PSE has been applied to dozens of production systems in large, medium, and small manufacturing organizations. These include GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, MillerCoors, Kraft Foods, Kroger, Lexmark, Subzero, Ruud Lighting, HellermannTyton, etc. Consistently, significant improvements in productivity, quality, and customer demand satisfaction have been obtained.

The intent of this website is to enable further utilization of PSE in education and applications. Specifically, it presents PSE in two formats -- for academic and industrial audiences. For the academic audience, the emphasis is on the theory and illustrative case studies. For the industrial audience, the emphasis is on practical issues and applications. For both audiences, educational materials (textbooks) and computational means (toolboxes) are provided.

PSE for academic audience (PSE for AA)
PSE for industrial audience (PSE for IA)

The foundations of PSE have been developed in the research group of Professor Semyon Meerkov at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Currently, this work is still in progress at Michigan and in the research groups of Professor Jingshan Li (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and Professor Liang Zhang (University of Connecticut, Storrs).

The PSE results have been summarized in the textbook by J. Li and S.M. Meerkov, Production Systems Engineering, Springer 2009. A Chinese version of this text, translated by L. Zhang, has been published in 2011 by the Beijing Institute of Technology Press.

About the authors

Acknowledgement: The material reported on this website has been obtained in the framework of the research supported, for over 25 years, by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Many companies, including GM, Ford, and Chrysler, also contributed by providing funds and enabling case studies. Without this support this research would not have been possible.

About the image at the top of this page: In 1932, the famous Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, was commissioned by Edsel Ford, President of Ford Motor Company, to create two murals for the Detroit Institute of Arts. The murals, completed in 1933, are currently located on the Northern and Southern walls of the Detroit Institute of Art's Rivera Court. The image on this page is the Northern Wall’s mural. It depicts operations involved in the production of the engine and transmission for the 1932 Ford V8. Although the manufacturing technology has changed dramatically since then, the fundamental principles of production systems did not. PSE is devoted to these principles.

© 2015 J. Li, S.M. Meerkov, and L. Zhang