In this paper, the problem of finding the minimum cost flow line able to produce different products is considered. This problem can be formulated as a shortest path problem on an acyclic di-graph when the machines graph associated with each product family is a chain or a comb. These graphs are relevant in production planning when dealing with pipelined assembly systems. We solve the problem using A* algorithm which can be efficiently exploited when there is a good estimate on the value of an optimal solution. Therefore, we adapt a known bound for the Shortest Common Supersequence problem to our case and show the effectiveness of the approach by presenting an extensive computational experience.
KeywordsFlow lines optimization Shortest path algorithms
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