A multi-objective approach to the application of real-world production scheduling
P. Korošec, U. Bole, G,. Papa
Expert Systems with Applications, 2013, 40(15): 5839-5853
An initiative was introduced in one of the production facilities of Germany's E.G.O. Group in order to enhance its SAP information system with a custom-made application for production-scheduling optimization. The goal of the optimization is to find a production schedule that satisfies different, contradictory production and business constraints. We show the challenges faced in the application of the multi-objective optimization approach, which is gaining influence in the management of production scheduling. We implement a memetic version of the Indicator-Based Evolutionary Algorithm with customized reproduction operators and local search procedures to find a set of feasible, non-dominated solutions. Such a memetic algorithm was applied to two real order lists from the production company. Additionally, we also lay out an efficient presentation of the multi-objective results for an expert's support in decision making. This provides the management with the possibility to gain additional insights into how the production schedule dynamically reacts to changes in the decision criteria. We show that the multi-objective approach is able to find high-quality solutions, which enables flexibility when it comes to quickly adapting to specific business conditions.
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