Complex Production Scheduling: models, methods, and industry case studies


Manufacturing companies often employ processes that exhibit high levels of complexity, creating a need to identify optimal production schedules that can provide a source of competitive advantage. These companies typically operate in an environment where production costs represent a significant portion of the total product price, multiple products share manufacturing infrastructure and resources, and production schedules are required on a timely basis.

Seeing a gap as to solutions currently available in the marketplace, the PhD scientists at OptTek Systems developed OptPro, a sophisticated production scheduling solution approach that combines mathematical programming, metaheuristic optimization, and simulation to craft optimal or near-optimal production schedules in a reliable and effective manner.

In this paper, we first describe traditional techniques for analysts conducting production scheduling and why they often produce inferior results in highly complex manufacturing operations. Next, we introduce our approach via OptPro, OptTek’s state-of-the-art software for enabling optimization of complex production scheduling activities. We then detail use of this powerful software via three real-world case studies using our solution to optimally schedule operations for a pipe insulation manufacturing process, Ecommerce printshop operation, and complex food (dairy processing) application.

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