A heuristic based on multi-stage programming approach for machine-loading problem in a flexible manufacturing system Academic Article uri icon


  • Manufacturing industries are rapidly changing from economies of scale to economies of scope, characterized by short product life cycles and increased product varieties. This implies a need to improve the efficiency of job shops while still maintaining their flexibility. These objectives are achieved by Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). The basic aim of FMS is to bring together the productivity of flow lines and the flexibility of job shops. This duality of objectives makes the management of an FMS complex. In this article, the loading problem in random type FMS, which is viewed as selecting a subset of jobs from the job pool and allocating them among available machines, is considered. A heuristic based on multi-stage programming approach is proposed to solve this problem. The objective considered is to minimize the system unbalance while satisfying the technological constraints such as availability of machining time and tool slots. The performance of the proposed heuristic is tested on 10 sample problems available in FMS literature and compared with existing solution methods. It has been found that the proposed heuristic gives good results. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nagarjuna, N., Mahesh, O., & Rajagopal, K.

citation count

  • 27

publication date

  • August 2006