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.
Cell formation process is one of the first and the most important steps in designing cellular manufacturing systems. It consists of identifying part families according to the similarities in the design, shape, and presses of parts and dedicating machines to each part family based on the operations required by the parts. In this study, a hybrid method based on a combination of simulated annealing algorithm and dynamic programming was developed to solve a bi-objective cell formation problem with duplicate machines. In the proposed hybrid method, each solution was represented as a permutation of parts, which is created by simulated annealing algorithm, and dynamic programming was used to partition this permutation into part families and determine the number of machines in each cell such that the total dissimilarity between the parts and the total machine investment cost are minimized. The performance of the algorithm was evaluated by performing numerical experiments in different sizes. Our computational experiments indicated that the results were very encouraging in terms of computational time and solution quality.