Planning and scheduling problems in manufacturing systems with high degree of resource degradation
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The term resource is used to refer to a machine, tool-group, piece of equipment or personnel. Optimization models for resource maintenance are obtained in conjunction with other production related decisions like production planning, production scheduling, resource allocation and job inspection. Emphasis is laid on integrating the above inter-dependent decisions into a unified optimization framework. This is accomplished for large stationary resources, small non-stationary resources with high breaking rate and for resources that form a part of a network. Owing to large problem size and high uncertainty, the optimal decisions are determined by formulating and solving the above problems as Markov decision processes (MDPs). Approximate dynamic programming based algorithms are used for solving the large optimization problems at hand. The performance of resulting near optimal policies is compared with that of traditional formulations in all cases. The latter treat the resource maintenance decisions independent of other manufacturing related decisions. In certain formulations, the resource state is not completely observable. This results in a partially observable MDP (POMDP). An alternative algorithm for the solution of POMDP is developed, where several mixed integer linear programs (MILPs) are solved during each ADP iteration. This helps obtain better quality solutions for the POMDPs with very large or continuous action spaces in an efficient manner.