Handbook of Production Scheduling

Chapters and Abstracts

Chapter 1: A History of Production Scheduling

Author: Jeffrey W. Herrmann, University of Maryland, College Park

Abstract: This chapter describes the history of production scheduling in manufacturing facilities over the last 100 years. Understanding the ways that production scheduling has been done is critical to analyzing existing production scheduling systems and finding ways to improve them. The chapter covers not only the tools used to support decision-making in real-world production scheduling but also the changes in the production scheduling systems. This story goes from the first charts developed by Henry Gantt to advanced scheduling systems that rely on sophisticated algorithms. The goal of the chapter is to help production schedulers, engineers, and researchers understand the true nature of production scheduling in dynamic manufacturing systems and to encourage them to consider how production scheduling systems can be improved even more. This chapter not only reviews the range of concepts and approaches used to improve production scheduling but also demonstrates their timeless importance.

Chapter 2: The Human Factor in Planning and Scheduling

Authors: Kenneth N. McKay, University of Waterloo; and Vincent C.S. Wiers, Eindhoven University of Technology

Abstract: In this chapter, we will review the research conducted on the human factor in planning and scheduling. Specifically, the positive and negative aspects of the human factor will be discussed. We will also discuss the consequences when these aspects are ignored or overlooked by the formal or systemized solutions.

Chapter 3: Organizational, Systems, and Human Issues in Production Planning, Scheduling and Control

Author: Bart MacCarthy, Nottingham University

Abstract: With global markets and global competition, pressures are placed on manufacturing organizations to compress order fulfillment times, meet delivery commitments consistently and also maintain efficiency in operations to address cost issues. This chapter argues for a process perspective on planning, scheduling and control that integrates organizational planning structures, information systems as well as human decision makers. The chapter begins with a reconsideration of the gap between theory and practice, in particular for classical scheduling theory and hierarchical production planning and control. A number of the key studies of industrial practice are then described and their implications noted. A recent model of scheduling practice derived from a detailed study of real businesses is described. Socio-technical concepts are then introduced and their implications for the design and management of planning, scheduling and control systems are discussed. The implications of adopting a process perspective are noted along with insights from knowledge management. An overview is presented of a methodology for the (re-)design of planning, scheduling and control systems that integrates organizational, system and human perspectives. The most important messages from the chapter are then summarized.

Chapter 4: Decision-making Systems in Production Scheduling

Author: Jeffrey W. Herrmann, University of Maryland, College Park

Abstract: In practice, production scheduling is part of the complex flow of information and decision-making that forms the manufacturing planning and control system. This decision-making systems perspective enhances our understanding of production scheduling. The chapter presents a systems methodology for improving production scheduling systems and describes techniques that can be used to represent production scheduling systems.

Chapter 5: Scheduling and Simulation

Authors: John W. Fowler, Arizona State University; Lars Monch, Technical University of Ilmenau; and Oliver Rose, Technical University of Dresden

Abstract: This chapter discusses how simulation can be used when scheduling manufacturing systems. While deterministic scheduling and simulation have often been seen as competing approaches for improving these systems, we will discuss four important roles for simulation when developing deterministic scheduling approaches. After an overview of the roles, we will use a case study to highlight two of the roles.

Chapter 6: Rescheduling Strategies, Policies, and Methods

Author: Jeffrey W. Herrmann, University of Maryland, College Park

Abstract: This chapter reviews basic concepts about rescheduling and briefly reviews the rescheduling framework. Then the chapter discusses considerations involved in choosing between different rescheduling strategies, policies, and methods.

Chapter 7: Understanding Master Production Scheduling from a Practical Perspective: Fundamentals, Heuristics, and Implementations

Author: Guilherme E. Vieira, Pontifical Catholic University of Parana

Abstract: Although Master Production Scheduling (MPS) has been studied and used by both academia and industries for quite a long time, the real complexity involved in making a master plan when capacity is limited, when products have the flexibility of being made at different production lines, and when performance goals are tight and conflicting, has not yet been presented in the literature in a simple and practical way. In this context, one should consider how to attain a given performance by balancing different objectives, such as maximizing service level, and minimizing inventory levels, risk of stockouts, overtime, and setup time. Many decisions need to be made during the development of an MPS, such as: Which product should be scheduled, in what quantity, and to which resource? Is overtime needed? Should inventory be built for future periods? Should backlogging be considered? Clearly, an MPS process depends on the combination of many different parameters. For this type of problem, it is extremely difficult to find a solution that satisfies all objectives involved simultaneously, mainly because of the great number of variables involved. It is known that finding an optimal MPS solution for industrial scheduling scenarios is time consuming - despite nowadays computers being extremely fast. It is common, therefore, to use heuristics (or meta-heuristics) to find good plans in reasonable computer time. Using a plain language, this chapter describes some of the complexity involved in the MPS creation without, however, paying too much attention to mathematical formalisms and definitions, using mostly the author's industry experience and practical examples faced during research in the production scheduling area.

Chapter 8: Coordination Issues in Supply Chain Planning and Scheduling

Authors: Stephan Kreipl, SAP Germany AG & Co. KG; Jorg Thomas Dickersbach, SAP AG; and Michael Pinedo New York University

Abstract: Network planning, production planning, and production scheduling are topics that have been discussed in the supply chain literature for many years. In this chapter we first provide an overview of all the different planning activities that can take place in supply chains while considering the existing functionalities that are available in commercial supply chain planning software. As a second step we consider the coordination and integration of these different activities in the implementation of a supply chain planning solution, which comprises network planning, production planning, and production scheduling. We conclude this chapter with a detailed discussion of an implementation of a supply chain planning solution at the tissue producer SCA Hygiene in Sweden.

Chapter 9: Semiconductor Manufacturing Scheduling and Dispatching

Authors: Michele E. Pfund, Arizona State University; Scott J. Mason, University of Arkansas; and John W. Fowler, Arizona State University

Abstract: This chapter discusses scheduling and dispatching in one of the most complex manufacturing environments - wafer fabrication facilities. These facilities represent the most costly and time-consuming portion of the semiconductor manufacturing process. After a brief introduction to wafer fabrication operations, the results of a survey of semiconductor manufacturers that focused on the current state of the practice and future needs are presented. Then the chapter presents a review of some recent dispatching approaches and finally an overview of a recent deterministic scheduling approach is provided.

Chapter 10: The Slab-design Problem in the Steel Industry

Authors: Milind Dawande, University of Texas at Dallas; Jayant Kalagnanam, Ho Soo Lee, Chandra Reddy, Stuart Siegel, Mark Trumbo, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Abstract: Planners in the steel industry must design a set of steel slabs to satisfy the order book subject to constraints on (1) achieving a total designed weight for each order using multiples of an order-specific production size range, (2) minimum and maximum sizes for each slab, and (3) feasible assignments of multiple orders to the same slab. We developed a heuristic solution based on matchings and bin packing that a large steel plant uses daily in mill operations.

Chapter 11: A Review of Long- and Short-Term Production Scheduling at LKAB's Kiruna Mine

Authors: Alexandra Newman, Michael Martinez, and Mark Kuchta, Colorado School of Mines

Abstract: LKAB's Kiruna Mine, located in northern Sweden, produces about 24 million tons of iron ore yearly using an underground mining method known as sublevel caving. To aid in its ore mining and processing system, Kiruna has adopted the use of several types of multi-period production scheduling models that have some distinguishing characteristics, for example: (i) specific rules governing the way in which the ore is extracted from the mine; (ii) lack of an inventory holding policy; and (iii) decisions that are not explicitly cost-based. In this chapter, we review two models in use at Kiruna and three techniques we have employed to expedite solution time, support the efficacy of these techniques with numerical results, and provide a corresponding discussion.

Chapter 12: Scheduling Models for Optimizing Human Performance and Well-being

Authors: Emmett J. Lodree, Jr., Auburn University; and Bryan A. Norman, University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: Personnel are critical components of many systems. Properly considering human capability and the man-machine interface is essential in order to maximize system effectiveness. The overall performance of a system is often directly related to how system personnel are scheduled. This chapter summarizes research related to scheduling personnel where the objective is to optimize system performance while considering human performance limitations and personnel well-being. Topics such as work rest scheduling, job rotation, cross-training, and task learning and forgetting are considered. For these topics, mathematical models and best practices are described. Additionally, important topics for future research are identified and discussed.

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This page last updated on January 3, 2006.