This study addresses an integrated batching and scheduling problem for a single-machine flexible machining cell in which each pallet can load multiple parts, i.e. multi-fixturing pallets, and part processing times can be changed with different processing costs, i.e. controllable processing times. The batching sub-problem is to select the set of parts to be produced in each period of a planning horizon and the resulting scheduling sub-problem is to determine the set of parts to be loaded on each multi-fixturing pallet, the part processing times and the pallet input/processing sequences for the parts selected in each period. A bi-criterion objective is considered that minimises the total tardiness and the total processing cost simultaneously. A solution approach is proposed that consists of three phases from the first to the last period: (a) generating the whole schedule over the planning horizon; (b) selecting the parts to be produced during the current period using the scheduling information; and (c) determining the final schedule for the selected parts. Simulation experiments were done on a number of test instances and the results are reported.
- controllable processing times
- flexible manufacturing
- multi-fixturing pallets