Date: 12 Aug 2009

A mixed integer programming formulation for scheduling of virtual manufacturing cells (VMCs)

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Abstract

We present a multi-objective mixed integer programming formulation for job scheduling in virtual manufacturing cells (VMCs). In a VMC, machines are dedicated to a part family as in a regular cell, but machines are not physically relocated in a contiguous area. Cell configurations are therefore temporary, and assignments are made to optimize the scheduling objective under changing demand conditions. We consider the case where there are multiple jobs with different processing routes. There are multiple machine types with several identical machines in each type and are located in different locations in the shop floor. The two scheduling objectives are makespan minimization and minimizing total traveling distance. Since batch splitting is permitted in the system, scheduling decisions must tell us the (a) assignment of jobs to the machines, (b) the job starting time at each machine, and (c) the part quantity processed on different machines due to batch splitting. Under these decision variables, the objective function is to minimize the sum of the makespan and total traveling distance/cost. Illustrative examples are given to demonstrate the implementation of the model.