The flow shop with multiple processors (FSMP) environment is relatively common and has a variety of applications. The majority of academic authors solve the scheduling problem of FSMP using deterministic data that ignore the stochastic nature of a real-world problem. Discrete-event simulation can model a non-linear and stochastic problem and allows examination of the likely behaviour of a proposed manufacturing system under selected conditions. However, it does not provide a method for optimization. The present paper proposes to solve the FSMP scheduling problem by using a tabu-search simulation optimization approach. It features both the stochastically modelling capability of the discrete-event simulation and the efficient local-search algorithm of tabu search. A case study from a multilayer ceramic capacitor manufacturing illustrates the proposed solution methodology. Empirical results show promise for the practical application of the proposed methodologies. Future research opportunities are then addressed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering