Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering
This research addresses the problem of minimizing the makespan in a flexible flowshop with sequence dependent setup times, uniform machines, and limited buffers. A mathematical model was developed to solve this problem. The problem is NP-Hard in the strong sense and only very small problems could be solved optimally. For exact methods, the computation times are long and not practical even when the problems are relatively small. Two construction heuristics were developed that could find solutions quickly. Also a simulated annealing heuristic was constructed that improved the solutions obtained from the construction heuristics. The combined heuristics could compute a good solution in a short amount of time. The heuristics were tested in three different environments: 3 stages, 4 stages, and 5 stages. To assess the quality of the solutions, a lower bound and two simple heuristics were generated for comparison purposes. The proposed heuristics showed steady improvement over the simple heuristics. When compared to the lower bounds, the heuristics performed well for the smaller environment, but the performance quality decreased as the number of stages increased. The combination of these heuristics defiantly shows promise for solving the problem.
Crowder, Bret, "Minimizing the makespan in a flexible flowshop with sequence dependent setup times, uniform machines, and limited buffers" (2006). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4220.