Look-ahead strategies for controlling batch operations in industry : overview, comparison and exploration
Batching jobs in a manufacturing system is a very common policy in most industries. Main reasons for batching are avoidance of set ups and/or facilitation of material handling. Good examples of batch wise production systems are ovens found in aircraft industry and in semi-conductor manufacturing. Starting from the early nineties much research efforts have been put in constructing strategies for the dynamic control of these systems in order to reduce cycle times. Typically, these so-called "look-ahead strategies" base their scheduling decision on the information on a few near future product arrivals. In this paper we give a literature overview of the strategies developed so far, evaluate their performance and explore their relevance for practical situations by means of a simulation study.
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