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Throughput-optimal sequences for cyclically operated plants. (English) Zbl 1176.90232
Summary: In this paper, we present a method to determine globally optimal schedules for cyclically operated plants where activities have to be scheduled on limited resources. In cyclic operation, a large number of entities is processed in an identical time scheme. For strictly cyclic operation, where the time offset between entities is also identical for all entities, the objective of maximizing throughput is equivalent to the minimization of the cycle time. The resulting scheduling problem is solved by deriving a mixed integer optimization problem from a discrete event model. The model includes timing constraints as well as open sequence decisions for the activities on the resources. In an extension, hierarchical nesting of cycles is considered, which often allows for schedules with improved throughput. The method is motivated by the application to high throughput screening plants, where a specific combination of requirements has to be obeyed (e.g. revisited resources, absence of buffers, or time window constraints).

90B35 Deterministic scheduling theory in operations research
90C10 Integer programming
93C65 Discrete event control/observation systems
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