The prototype vehicles that Ford Motor Company uses to verify new designs are a major annual investment. A team of engineering managers studying for master’s degrees in a Wayne State University program taught at Ford adapted a classroom set-covering example to begin development of the prototype optimization model (POM). Ford uses the POM and its related expert systems to budget, plan, and manage prototype test fleets and to maintain testing integrity, reducing annual prototype costs by more than $250 million. POM’s first use on the European Transit vehicle reduced costs by an estimated $12 million. The model dramatically shortened the planning process, established global procedures, and created a common structure for dialogue between budgeting and engineering.
This project was recognized by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) and received the Franz Edelman Finalist Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences (29th Year of Competition). The Franz Edelman Award recognizes and rewards outstanding examples of operations research, management science, and advanced analytics.
A detailed description of this recognition is presented on the link: Ford Test Vehicle Optimization Honored