Minimizing production flow time in a process and assembly job shop
Scheduling is one of the most important issues in the planning and operation of production systems, but in medium to large shops, the generation of consistently good schedules has proven to be extremely difficult. The problem is that optimal scheduling solutions involve costly and impractical enumeration procedures. In the literature, most scheduling problems only address jobs with serial or sequential operations. Rarely do they consider jobs in which machining and assembly operations are simultaneously involved. This lack of attention to scheduling problems that involve both machining and assembly goes against what one would normally find in most job shops. In this paper, the problem of scheduling a set of N final products on M machines in a job shop environment that involve both machining and assembly operations is addressed. The objective pursued is the minimization of production flow time (makespan). A mathematical model is developed in an effort to obtain optimal solutions. Because this type of model grows exponentially as the size of the problems increases, an heuristic solution approach is developed to solve the problems more efficiently. The models are tested and compared on several test problems.
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