computing a better way to plow in northeastern minnesota n.
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COMPUTING A BETTER WAY TO PLOW IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA

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  1. COMPUTING A BETTER WAY TO PLOW IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA Kwasi D. Amoah, Graduate Student, MSEM University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratory MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  2. Background • Snowplow Operations & Resource Management (SORM) • Funded through the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS), University of Minnesota • Focus on Winter Maintenance issues in District 1 of Mn/DOT MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  3. Concerns • Efficient and effective utilization of resources • Consistent service levels for roadways • Previous attempts in implementing route optimization software by Mn/DOT failed • Federal Highway Administration’s development of multi-state decision support system for winter road maintenance MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  4. Goal • Develop a Management Planning Tool (Decision Support System) using Discrete Event Simulation Modeling to assist in • Operations Improvement • Resource Utilization • “What-if” Scenarios MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  5. Why Simulation? • Complexity of operations cannot be modeled by analytical methods • Provides a mechanism for developing and analyzing different scenarios • Serves as a general management tool that can be modified to meet future needs MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  6. Virginia Our Approach • Work with Virginia, MN • Select 5 routes on Highway 53 corridor • Work with Area Superintendent, Supervisors and Drivers to understand operations MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  7. Storm Arrives Drivers arrive at Mn/DOT in Virginia Drivers complete Operators Daily Vehicle Inspection Report Load Plows with Sand & Salt Fill Brine Plowing • Post Plowing Operations • Dump Extra Sand and Salt • Refuel • Wash • Complete ODVI report End of Shift? Yes No Bare Lane? No Yes End of Storm? No Yes Clean up Clean up completed? No Yes Flow Process

  8. Concept Map Wind Speed & Direction Humidity Visibility Snow Accumulation Rate Snow Depth Snow Moisture Content Plow Speed Air Temperature Traffic density Pavement Temperature Sun Time of Day

  9. Snow Accumulation Rate Visibility Material Application Pavement Temperature Snow Depth Snow Moisture Content Plow Speed Traffic density Concept Map - Simplified

  10. Data Collection “Expert Opinion” Plow Speeds RWIS Accumulation Rates Moisture Content Pavement Temperature Virginia - Mn/DOT Guidelines Material Application Rates Probability Density Functions Plow Speed Triangular Distribution Beta Distribution Accumulation Rates, Moisture Content and Pavement Temps Fit distribution using RWIS data Material Application Rates Fit distribution using historical application data from Mn/DOT Input Data Collection & Modeling

  11. Model Layout MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  12. Start Simulation MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  13. MS Excel VBA ProModel Route Characteristics Storm Characteristics ActiveX COM Simulation Model Model Parameters Road Conditions Output Data Model Design & Data Flow MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  14. Output MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  15. Conclusions • The model adequately captures the plowing operation • Initial Validation suggests that the model might be inadequate in predicting times to bare lane • Validation will be an ongoing effort as more “accurate” data on the model parameters are obtained and as the scope of the model expands • Verify Processing Logics & “Rules of Practice” • Model has capability of conducting “what-if” scenarios to assist with operations improvement and resource management • Continue to improve user interface MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003

  16. Acknowledgements Center for Transportation Studies Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratory Minnesota Department of Transportation University of Minnesota Duluth Federal Highway Administration MDSS Stakeholder Meeting June, 18 2003