Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 213, Issue 1, pp 293–318 | Cite as

Integrated production and distribution scheduling with lifespan constraints

  • Christian Viergutz
  • Sigrid KnustEmail author


We consider an integrated production and distribution scheduling problem in a make-to-order business scenario. A product with a short lifespan (e.g., perishable or seasonal) is produced at a single production facility with a limited production rate. This means that the product expires in a constant time after its production is finished. Orders are received from a set of geographically dispersed customers, where a demand for the product and a time window for the delivery is associated with each customer for the planning period. A single vehicle with non-negligible traveling times between the locations is responsible for the deliveries. Due to the limited production and distribution resources, possibly not all customers may be supplied within their time windows or the lifespan. The problem consists in finding a selection of customers to be supplied such that the total satisfied demand is maximized. We extend the work by Armstrong et al. (Annals of Operations Research 159(1):395–414, 2008) on the problem for fixed delivery sequences by pointing out an error in their branch and bound algorithm and presenting a corrected variant. Furthermore, we introduce model extensions for handling delays of the production start as well as for variable production and distribution sequences. Efficient heuristic solution algorithms and computational results for randomly generated instances are presented.


Scheduling Make-to-order production Supply chain management Limited lifespan Time windows 



We gratefully acknowledge the constructive comments of two anonymous referees.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Computer ScienceUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

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