Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 217–228 | Cite as

The performance of workload rules for order acceptance in batch chemical manufacturing

  • Wenny H. M. Raaymakers
  • J.Will M. Bertrand
  • Jan C. Fransoo


We investigate the performance of workload rules used to support customer order acceptance decisions in the hierarchical production control structure of a batch chemical plant. Customer order acceptance decisions need to be made at a point in time when no detailed information is available about the actual shop floor status during execution of the order. These decisions need therefore be based on aggregate models of the shop floor, which predict the feasibility of completing the customer order in time. In practice, workload rules are commonly used to estimate the availability of sufficient capacity to complete a set of orders in a given planning period. Actual observations in a batch chemical manufacturing plant show that the set of orders accepted needs to be reconsidered later, because the schedule turns out to be infeasible. Analysis of the planning processes used at the plant shows that workload rules can yields reliable results, however at the expense of a rather low capacity utilization. In practice this is often unacceptable. Since, solving a detailed scheduling problem is not feasible at this stage, this creates a dilemma that only can be solved if we can find more detailed aggregate models than workload rules can provide.

Batch process industries workload control capacity planning order acceptance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Axsäter, S. (1981) Aggregation of product data for hierarchical production planning. Operations Research, 29, 744–756.Google Scholar
  2. Axsäter, S. and Jönsson, H. (1984) Aggregation and disaggregation in hierarchical production planning. EJOR, 17, 338–350.Google Scholar
  3. Bertrand, J. W. M. and Wortmann, J. C. (1981) Production control and information systems for component manufacturing shops. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  4. Bertrand, J. W. M., Wortmann, J. C. and Wijngaard, J. (1990) Production control: a structural and design oriented approach. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  5. Bitran, G. R. and Tirupati, D. (1993) Hierarchical production planning. In Handbooks in OR and MS, 4, Ed. S.C. Graves et al. Google Scholar
  6. Buzacott, J. A. and Shantikumar, J. G. (1993) Stochastic models of manufacturing systems. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs NJ.Google Scholar
  7. Graves, S. C. (1982) Using Lagrangian techniques to solve hierarchical production planning problems. MS, 28, 260–275.Google Scholar
  8. Hax, A. C. and Meal, H. C. (1975) Hierarchical integration of production planning and scheduling. In Studies in the Management Science, 1 ‘Logistics’, M.A. Geisler, (ed.). North-Holland.Google Scholar
  9. Holt, C. C., Modigliani, Muth, F. J. and Simon, H. A. (1960) Planning, production, inventories and work force. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs NJ.Google Scholar
  10. Hopp, W. J. and Spearman, M. L. (1996) Factory physics: foundations of manufacturing management. Irwin, London.Google Scholar
  11. Meal, H. C. (1978) A study of multi-stage production planning. In Studies in Operations Management, Ed. A.C. Hax, North-Holland.Google Scholar
  12. Meal, H. C. (1984) Putting production decisions where they belong. HBR, 62, 102–111.Google Scholar
  13. Raaymakers, W. H. M. and Hoogeveen, J. A. (1998) Scheduling multipurpose batch process industries with no-wait restrictions by simulated annealing. Research report TUE/TM/LBS/98–04, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven.Google Scholar
  14. Reklaitis, G. V. (1990) Progress and Issues in Computer-Aided Batch Process Design. In Foundations of Computer-Aided Process Design, J. J. Siirola, I. E. Grossmann and G. Stephanopoulos (eds). Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  15. Schneeweiß, Ch. (1995) Hierarchical structures in organisations: a conceptual framework. EJOR, 86, 4–31.Google Scholar
  16. Van Ooijen, H. P. G. (1996) Load-based work-order release and its effectiveness on delivery performance improvement. PhD-thesis, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven.Google Scholar
  17. Wiendahl, H.-P. (1995) Load-oriented manufacturing control. Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenny H. M. Raaymakers
    • 1
  • J.Will M. Bertrand
    • 2
  • Jan C. Fransoo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Operations Planning and ControlEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Operations Planning and ControlEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Operations Planning and ControlEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations