A cyclic production system manufactures a set of products at a constant frequency. Each resource repeatedly performs a certain set of tasks, and the system produces a certain set of units each cycle. The production schedule defines the timing of the tasks within each cycle, which determines system performance on measures such as throughput and work-in-process inventory. This paper describes the tradeoffs that occur when scheduling such systems. This paper presents algorithms for constructing feasible cyclic schedules that maximize throughput, minimize WIP, or balance the two objectives. In addition, the paper describes a problem space search that explores the tradeoffs between throughput and inventory. An experimental study shows that the scheduling algorithms generate high throughput, moderate WIP solutions. The tradeoff exploration search provides a series of solutions that allow a decision-maker to tradeoff the WIP and throughput objectives.
Paper last revised: August 20, 2001.
Copyright Notice: Copyright 2001 by Jeffrey W. Herrmann. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint or republish this material in any form must be obtained from the author. This paper has been submitted to IIE Transactions.
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Last updated by Jeffrey W. Herrmann, August 28, 2001.