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Capacity Expansion and Replacement in Growing Markets with Uncertain Technological Breakthroughs


  • Sampath Rajagopalan

    (Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1421)

  • Medini R. Singh

    (The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755)

  • Thomas E. Morton

    (Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)


The accelerated pace of technological change has led to rapid obsolescence of productive capacity in electronics and other industries. Managers must consider the impact of future technologies while making acquisition and replacement decisions in such environments. We consider a problem where a sequence of technological breakthroughs are anticipated but their magnitude and timing are uncertain. A firm, operating in such an environment, must decide how much capacity of the current technology to acquire to meet future demand growth. It must also determine whether to upgrade any of the older vintages. We formulate this problem and present some structural results. Using these results, we then develop a highly efficient regeneration point-based dynamic programming algorithm. The effectiveness of the proposed algorithm is illustrated through a computational study. The sensitivity of the first period decision to various parameters is also explored.

Suggested Citation

  • Sampath Rajagopalan & Medini R. Singh & Thomas E. Morton, 1998. "Capacity Expansion and Replacement in Growing Markets with Uncertain Technological Breakthroughs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(1), pages 12-30, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:44:y:1998:i:1:p:12-30

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rahman, Atiqur & Loulou, Richard, 2001. "Technology acquisition with technological progress: effects of expectations, rivalry and uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 159-185, February.
    2. Huisman, Kuno J. M. & Kort, Peter M., 2003. "Strategic investment in technological innovations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 209-223, January.
    3. Pangburn, Michael S. & Sundaresan, Shankar, 2009. "Capacity decisions for high-tech products with obsolescence," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(1), pages 102-111, August.
    4. Lin, James T. & Chen, Tzu-Li & Chu, Hsiao-Ching, 2014. "A stochastic dynamic programming approach for multi-site capacity planning in TFT-LCD manufacturing under demand uncertainty," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 21-36.
    5. Alexandar Angelus & Evan L. Porteus, 2002. "Simultaneous Capacity and Production Management of Short-Life-Cycle, Produce-to-Stock Goods Under Stochastic Demand," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(3), pages 399-413, March.
    6. Jan A. Van Mieghem, 2003. "Commissioned Paper: Capacity Management, Investment, and Hedging: Review and Recent Developments," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 5(4), pages 269-302, July.
    7. Martínez-Costa, Carme & Mas-Machuca, Marta & Benedito, Ernest & Corominas, Albert, 2014. "A review of mathematical programming models for strategic capacity planning in manufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 66-85.
    8. Hadjinicola, George C. & Soteriou, Andreas C., 2003. "Reducing the cost of defects in multistage production systems: A budget allocation perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 621-634, March.
    9. B. Luo & I. Maqsood & G. Huang, 2007. "Planning water resources systems with interval stochastic dynamic programming," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 21(6), pages 997-1014, June.
    10. Wu, Cheng-Hung & Chuang, Ya-Tang, 2010. "An innovative approach for strategic capacity portfolio planning under uncertainties," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(2), pages 1002-1013, December.
    11. Porteus, Evan L. & Angelus, Alexandar & Wood, Samuel C., 2000. "Optimal Sizing and Timing of Modular Capacity Expansions," Research Papers 1479r2, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    12. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:59:y:2008:i:1:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602381 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Yatsenko, Yuri & Hritonenko, Natali, 2008. "Properties of optimal service life under technological change," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 230-238, July.
    14. Susan H. Xu & Zhaolin Li, 2007. "Managing a Single-Product Assemble-to-Order System with Technology Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(9), pages 1467-1485, September.
    15. Mørch, Ove & Fagerholt, Kjetil & Pantuso, Giovanni & Rakke, Jørgen, 2017. "Maximizing the rate of return on the capital employed in shipping capacity renewal," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 42-53.
    16. Cao, M.F. & Huang, G.H. & Lin, Q.G., 2010. "Integer programming with random-boundary intervals for planning municipal power systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(8), pages 2506-2516, August.
    17. Vernon Ning Hsu, 2002. "Dynamic Capacity Expansion Problem with Deferred Expansion and Age-Dependent Shortage Cost," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 4(1), pages 44-54, June.
    18. Chand, Suresh & McClurg, Tim & Ward, Jim, 2000. "A model for parallel machine replacement with capacity expansion," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 519-531, March.
    19. Öner, K.B. & Kiesmüller, G.P. & van Houtum, G.J., 2015. "On the upgrading policy after the redesign of a component for reliability improvement," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 244(3), pages 867-880.
    20. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:56:y:2005:i:4:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2601834 is not listed on IDEAS


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