OptPro White Papers

Downloadable case studies and best practices from the complex systems optimization experts at OptTek

Solving Complex Production Schedule Problems

Existing commercial solutions for production and process scheduling focus on two basic questions: 1) When should a specific task be scheduled? and 2) What resources should be assigned to perform the task? In many cases, these questions can be answered by applying simple, rule-based heuristics, such as sequencing tasks by earliest due date, or by the length of their processing times. In more complex situations, optimization-based approaches can be used. These methods use mathematical programming techniques to find the optimal solution – sequence and assignment of tasks – to maximize or minimize some metric, like throughput or operating cost, respectively.

Seeing a gap as to solutions currently available in the market place, the PhD scientists at OptTek Systems have recently launched OptPro, a best-in-class production scheduling system that goes well beyond rule-based systems to enable optimal decision making through powerful algorithmic and analytical techniques.

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Tabu Search

Tabu Search, also called Adaptive Memory Programming, is a method for solving challenging optimization problems in the fields of business, engineering, economics and science. Everyday examples include practical applications in resource management, financial and investment planning, healthcare systems, energy and environmental policy, pattern classification, biotechnology and a host of other areas. Tabu search has emerged as one of the leading technologies for handling real-world problems that have proved difficult or impossible to solve with classical procedures.

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Metaheuristics

A metaheuristic is a high-level problem-independent algorithmic framework that provides a set of guidelines or strategies to develop heuristic optimization algorithms. Notable examples of metaheuristics include genetic/evolutionary algorithms, tabu search, simulated annealing, and ant colony optimization, although many more exist. Metaheuristics have been demonstrated by the scientific community to be a viable, and often superior, alternative to more traditional (exact) methods of mixed-integer optimization such as branch and bound and dynamic programming.

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Optimization in Production Process Flow

Optimization provides a powerful method to quickly search and identify simulation scenarios that yield the desired outcomes. The latest advancements in integrating optimization technology with evaluation techniques that model the complex production process flow environment have enabled improved decision-making by the diverse set of managers involved in extracting the most value from the factory.

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Optimization in Supply Chain Planning and Management

Optimization has recently become a “hot” technology in supply chain planning and management. The latest advancements in integrating optimization technology with evaluation techniques that model the complex supply chain environment have contributed to enabling improved and more focused decisions by the diverse set of managers involved in extracting the most value from the supply chain.

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