Global competition pressures have forced manufactures to adapt their productive capabilities. In order to satisfy the ever-changing market demands many organizations adopted flexible resources capable of executing several products with different performance criteria. The unrelated parallel-machines makespan minimization problem (Rm||Cmax) is known to be NP-hard or too complex to be solved exactly. In the heuristics used for this problem, the MCT (Minimum Completion Time), which is the base for several others, allocates tasks in a random like order to the minimum completion time machine. This paper proposes an ordered approach to the MCT heuristic. MOMCT (Modified Ordered Minimum Completion Time) will order tasks in accordance to the MS index, which represents the mean difference of the completion time on each machine and the one on the minimum completion time machine. The computational study demonstrates the improved performance of MOMCT over the MCT heuristic.
The XPRESS project introduces a completely new scalable concept of a manufactronic networked factory, which is composed by a co-ordinated team of specialized autonomous objects (Manufactrons), each knowing how to do a certain process optimally. This knowledge based concept integrated the complete chain: production configuration (decrease of ramp-up time of at least 50%), multi-variant production line (varying types and volumes on a single line) and 100% quality monitoring. The manufactronic networked architecture allows continuous process improvement, and will be able to anticipate and to respond to rapidly changing consumer needs, producing high-quality products in adequate quantities while reducing costs. This concept is demonstrated in the automotive, aeronautics and electrical industry but can be transferred to nearly all production processes.