Scheduling flexible manufacturing cells using Tabu Search

R. A. Pitts, J. A. Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Scheduling is an important aspect in the overall control of a flexible manufacturing system. The research presented focuses on production scheduling of jobs within a flexible manufacturing cell (FMC)-one type of flexible manufacturing system. Due to the complexity of the FMC scheduling problem, a 0-1 mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model is formulated for M machines and N jobs with alternative routings. Although small instances of the problem can be solved optimally with MILP models, a two-stage Tabu Search (TS2) algorithm that minimises the manufacturing makespan (MS) is proposed to solve medium-to-large-scale problems more efficiently. During Stage I (construction phase), two heuristics are utilised to generate an initial feasible sequence and an initial MS solution. In Stage II (improvement phase), the acquired initial solutions from Stage I are combined with a Tabu Search meta-heuristic procedure that provides improved MS solutions. The TS2 algorithm provides tremendous savings in computational time for medium/large-sized multi-machine FMC problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6907-6928
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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