Dynamic Sequencing of Jobs on Conveyor Systems for Minimizing Changeovers
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This research investigates the problem of constrained sequencing of a set of jobs on a conveyor system with the objective of minimizing setup cost. A setup cost is associated with extra material, labor, or energy required due to the change of attributes in consecutive jobs at processing stations. A finite set of attributes is considered in this research. Sequencing is constrained by the availability of two elements ??orage buffers and conveyor junctions. The problem is motivated by the paint purge reduction problem at a major U.S. automotive manufacturer. First, a diverging junction with a sequence-independent setup cost and predefined attributes is modeled as an assignment problem and this model is extended by relaxing the initial assumptions in various ways. We also model the constrained sequencing problem with an off-line buffer and develop heuristics for efficiently getting a good quality solution by exploiting the special problem structure. Finally, we conduct sensitivity analysis using numerical experiments, explain the case study, and discuss the use of the simulation model as a supplementary tool for analyzing the constrained sequencing problem.