Sample Problem - The ECO Depot

The ECO storage depot operates in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations controlling the storage of environmentally damaging chemicals. The ECO depot is only licensed to store drums of chemicals classified as EPA hazard type 1, type 2, or type 3.

The drums are stored in special storage buildings; in the depot there are also buildings that house scientific and administrative staff. Each storage building is licensed to hold a maximum number of drums. While the EPA requires that type 1 and type 2 must not be stored in the same building, type 3 can be stored with either type 1 or type 2. If either of these regulations is violated, then the EPA will close the depot as unsafe, pending emergency action.

The management has decided to install a computerized system to manage and control the depot. It is their paramount concern that the system never allow the depot to become unsafe.

The ECO management wants to avoid litigation from their employees or the local council. They have introduced a company regulation that requires the depot manager be able to monitor the depot and to always be able to check if the depot is in a vulnerable state. The regulation states that a depot is vulnerable if any two neighboring buildings contain the maximum number of drums.

When a truck arrives at the loading bay, the clerk enters the manifest accompanying the load and checks in the drums one at a time. As each drum is checked in, it is assigned an identifier. Once all the drums have been checked in, any discrepancies between the checked load and the manifest are reported to the loading bay clerk. The system then produces a drum-to-building allocation list that says where each drum is to be stored. The loading bay clerk is notified of any drums that must be returned to the truck because of lack of space.

Drum collections are initiated by the loading bay clerk, who types in an order manifest for the number and type of drums that are required. The system identifies the drums that are to be retrieved from the storage buildings. A manifest for the order is sent to the loading bay clerk.

Since there is only one loading bay, it must be empty before a delivery or collection can begin. It is the clerk's responsibility to notify the system when the bay is empty.

Sample Analysis

Within this problem analysis, each problem statement is simplified and normalized using selected EDUCE language patterns.

The statements are rephrased until they are suitable (simple enough) for modeling.

Analysis Sections