Among the different tasks in production logistics, job scheduling is one of the most important at the operational decision-making level to enable organizations to achieve competiveness. Scheduling consists in the allocation of limited resources to activities over time in order to achieve one or more optimization objectives. Flow-shop (FS) scheduling problems encompass the sequencing processes in environments in which the activities or operations are performed in a serial flow. This type of configuration includes assembly lines and the chemical, electronic, food, and metallurgical industries, among others. Scheduling has been mostly investigated for the deterministic cases, in which all parameters are known in advance and do not vary over time. Nevertheless, in real-world situations, events are frequently subject to uncertainties that can affect the decision-making process. Thus, it is important to study scheduling and sequencing activities under uncertainties since they can cause infeasibilities and disturbances. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general overview of the FS scheduling problem under uncertainties and its role in production logistics and to draw up opportunities for further research. To this end, 100 papers about FS and flexible flow-shop scheduling problems published from 2001 to October 2016 were analyzed and classified. Trends in the reviewed literature are presented and finally some research opportunities in the field are proposed.
This paper tackles an extension to the Multi-activity Combined Timetabling and Crew Scheduling Problem (MCTCSP). The goal of the original problem is to schedule the minimum number of homogenous workers required, in order to visit a set of customers characterized by services needed against schedule availability. However, since in home services it is common to have specialized workers, a mathematical model considering a heterogeneous workforce is proposed. As a solution, a GRASP-based algorithm is designed. In order to test the metaheuristic performance, 110 instances from the literature are adapted to include categorical skills. In addition, another 10 instances are randomly generated to consider large problems. The results show that the proposed GRASP finds optimal solutions in 46% of the cases and saves 40–96% computational time.
This paper addresses the scheduling problem in a Permutation Flow Shop (PFS) environment, which is associated with many types of industries such as chemical, petrochemical, automobile manufacturing, metallurgical, textile, etc. Thus, this work intends to solve a PFS scheduling problem in order to minimize the total weighted tardiness, since it is an important sequencing criterion not only for on time delivery jobs but also for customer satisfaction. To solve the problem, GRASP (Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure) metaheuristic is proposed as a solution, which has shown competitive results compared with other combinatorial problems. In addition, two utility functions called Weighted Modified Due Date (WMDD) and Apparent Tardiness Cost (ATC) are proposed to develop GRASP. These are based on dynamic dispatching rules and also known for solving the problem of total weighted tardiness for single machine scheduling problem. Next, an experimental design was carried out for comparing the GRASP performance with both utility functions and against the WEDD dispatching rule results. The results indicate that GRASP-WMDD could improve the total weighted tardiness in 47.8% compared with WEDD results. Finally, the GRASP-WMDD performance for the PFS total tardiness problem was evaluated, obtaining a relative deviation index of 13.89% and ranking the method over 26 heuristics and metaheuristics.