Scheduling pickup and deliveries in a multiple-load discrete carrier environment

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The importance and benefits of using multiple-load carriers in advanced manufacturing systems has been well documented in recent studies. This study assumes a manufacturing system arranged around a single loop serviced by a single multiple-load carrier. The study presents a {0-1} integer programming model for optimal schedule design, if complete knowledge is available, using a finite planning horizon. In order to solve larger dynamic problems where jobs keep on arriving, two heuristic algorithms are developed, each using a different look-ahead period. The ability of these algorithms is analyzed and compared to the simple First-Encountered-First-Served (FEFS) rule using 31 randomly generated problems. Finally, the impact of increasing carrier capacity is studied.

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