Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2020/2021
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione
Docente Brun Alessandro
Cfu 5.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento
Ing Ind - Inf (Mag.)(ord. 270) - MI (498) FOOD ENGINEERING*AZZZZ055782 - ANALYTICS FOR FOOD INDUSTRY

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The course aims at offering an encompassing toolbox, useful to address and solve a large number of problems that Engineers typically face in an Industrial Engineering context, with particular reference to the agri-food industry and supply chain.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Through the study of tools and techniques for quality improvement, cost reduction, process optimization, problem solving, we aim at building the foundations for a powerful analytical mindset relevant useful to reach effective decision making in the food industry, with particular reference to problem solving, innovation and continuous improvement.


In particular, through a number of “monographic” problems, students will have the opportunity to develop and strengthen some skills, typically considered as “must-have” for a good consultant in area Operations Management / Operations Improvement, such as:

  • first and foremost, knowledge of a number of general-purpose problem solving tools, to carry with them as a “tool-box” or a “Swiss Army knife” and to use in each and every occasion, and consequent smart adoption of said toolbox;
  • ability to understand the market requirements, the needs of (specific clusters of) customers, and to understand the feedbacks of the customers on the current product / product performances;
  • understanding of the key factors – be they design decision of a product, or critical parameters of a process – and their impact on the expected outcome (e.g. product quality; customer satisfaction; …);
  • ability to make decisions, selecting the most promising course of action through multi-criteria decision making, and clearly presenting the outcome of their reasoning, in a clear and formally correct way;
  • The correct application of the analysed tools in practical contexts will also develop the participants ability to rapidly understand a problem and to gather data, sifting useless or redundant ones, making simplifying assumptions and focusing on relevant information.

Argomenti trattati

I - Course introduction: goals, modus operandi, exam rules.


II - General purpose tools for Problem finding / setting / solving


  1. (Non Financial) Performance Management Systems (PMSs)
    1. How to build a PMS
    2. Causal maps connecting indicators
    3. Devil’s in the details: developing the “right” Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), able to measure what one wants to measure
  2. Process Mapping, analysis of Non-Value-Added activities and inefficiency costs assessment
  3. Inefficiency costs assessment: Cost of Poor Quality
  4. Root Causes Analysis (RCA)
  5. The concept of Root Cause, the 5-whys techniques
  6. Ishikawa diagram
  7. Solutions selection and prioritization
  8. Pick-Chart to create a roadmap for improvement actions selection and prioritization.
  9. Multi-criteria decision methods, Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP)
  10. Voting systems



The case of the Broken Biscuit - assessing the cost of nonconformance in a process with waste

Campari and the dilemma of albumin precipitation, filtering and impurities in my bitter.

Eng. Regina and the mystery of the saltless mushroom soup


III - Voice of the Customer Techniques


  1. Listening to the Voice of the Customer
    1. Basic concepts: Customer needs vs expectations; Critical to Quality; Kano model; …
    2. Perception is reality. Measuring Customer Satisfaction
    3. Clustering customers and M.Gladwell Ted Talk
    4. Surveys, focus groups, panels, …
  2. Quantitative techniques
    1. Net Promoter Score
    2. Conjoint analysis
    3. Menu Engineering


Cereal for Breakfast – designing a cereal box that will get you $$$

The “mytical” Algida season poster – anatomy of a masterpiece of menu engineering



IV - Improving product design / industrialization / production


  1. Product design:
    1. Quality Function Deployment
    2. FMEA technique
  2. Prioritization
  3. The “Vital Few Trivial Many” Pareto law and Pareto diagram
  4. Defining a Pareto Priority Index (PPI)
  5. A-B-C classification and cross-ABC analysis
  6. Design of Experiment
  7. Design of Experiment
  8. Experiments conduction (either through real physical experiments or simulation by means of random number generation through MS-Excel)
  9. Analysis of results: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) techniques
  10. Measurement System Analysis (compendious)


Pareto Sustengo (to be redesigned around a real corporate case)

Amazing food deliveries (or another application


Fun games:

Economic cut – how many packaging foil sizes are enough?

Deming funnel experiment – parameter setting and tampering with the process


As a prerequisite, candidates should have an analytical mindset.

Knowledge of statistics foundations - in particular how to handle random variables / probability distributions - is required. In particular knowledge of the Normal Distribution and its application, and very confident use of the Normal Disiribution table (density and cumulative).  

Modalità di valutazione

Two groupworks (on cases or assignments addressed during the semester): 40%

Final written exam (numerical exercises, open book): 60%

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaThomas Pyzdek, the Six Sigma Handbook, fourth edition, Editore: McGraw-Hill Education, Anno edizione: 2014, ISBN: 978-0071840538

Other editions of the same book are still valid. The handbook contains the explanation of most of the quantitative tools studied during the course

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaMichel Brassard, The Memory Jogger: a pocket guide of tools for continuous improvement, Editore: Goal/qpc, ISBN: 978-1879364035

Other handbooks of the same collection are a very interesting alternative: The Memory Jogger 2: Tools for Continuous Improvement and Effective Planning The Black Belt Memory Jogger The Lean Six Sigma Deployment Memory Jogger

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaThomas L. Saaty, Decision making with the analytic hierarchy program / International Journal of Services Sciences, Anno edizione: 2008 https://doi.org/10.1504/IJSSci.2008.01759
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaPaul E. Green, V. Srinivasan, Conjoint Analysis in Consumer Research: Issues and Outlook, Journal of Consumer Research, Anno edizione: 1978, Fascicolo: Issue Cover Volume 5 Issue 2 September 1978 https://doi.org/10.1086/208721

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 50:00 75:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese
schedaincarico v. 1.6.6 / 1.6.6
Area Servizi ICT