Makespan minimization in a job shop with a batch processing machine

Miguel Rojas Santiago, Florida International University


A job shop with one batch processing and several discrete machines is analyzed. Given a set of jobs, their process routes, processing requirements, and size, the objective is to schedule the jobs such that the makespan is minimized. The batch processing machine can process a batch of jobs as long as the machine capacity is not violated. The batch processing time is equal to the longest processing job in the batch. The problem under study can be represented as Jm:batch:Cmax. If no batches were formed, the scheduling problem under study reduces to the classical job shop scheduling problem (i.e. Jm:: Cmax), which is known to be NP-hard. This research extends the scheduling literature by combining Jm::Cmax with batch processing. The primary contributions are the mathematical formulation, a new network representation and several solution approaches. The problem under study is observed widely in metal working and other industries, but received limited or no attention due to its complexity. A novel network representation of the problem using disjunctive and conjunctive arcs, and a mathematical formulation are proposed to minimize the makespan. Besides that, several algorithms, like batch forming heuristics, dispatching rules, Modified Shifting Bottleneck, Tabu Search (TS) and Simulated Annealing (SA), were developed and implemented. An experimental study was conducted to evaluate the proposed heuristics, and the results were compared to those from a commercial solver (i.e., CPLEX). TS and SA, with the combination of MWKR-FF as the initial solution, gave the best solutions among all the heuristics proposed. Their results were close to CPLEX; and for some larger instances, with total operations greater than 225, they were competitive in terms of solution quality and runtime. For some larger problem instances, CPLEX was unable to report a feasible solution even after running for several hours. Between SA and the experimental study indicated that SA produced a better average Cmax for all instances. The solution approaches proposed will benefit practitioners to schedule a job shop (with both discrete and batch processing machines) more efficiently. The proposed solution approaches are easier to implement and requires short run times to solve large problem instances.

Subject Area

Industrial engineering|Operations research

Recommended Citation

Rojas Santiago, Miguel, "Makespan minimization in a job shop with a batch processing machine" (2010). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3430527.