Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Department

Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Manbir Sodhi

Abstract

Cost, quality, and time are the pillars of a popular and well known business model. What is also well known about this model is that it is very difficult to be the industry leader in all three categories. This is because these categories are naturally interconnected such that one category cannot be changed without affecting the others. This creates an environment where a balance must be established to determine the appropriate amount of effort to focus on each of these three categories.

This current research presents an application for the schedule optimization of operations with flexible durations. The objective of the problem is to find the optimal sequence of jobs to minimize cost, where cost is a function of makespan and work center processing durations. The constraints in the problem include variable job durations and a sequential flow of jobs through multiple successive work centers. Details of the implemented tools chosen in support of the optimization are described followed by a summary of the accuracy, robustness, and scalability of the proposed system on generic case studies.

Final results indicate the proposed approach can successfully be applied to scheduling optimization with flexible job processing times. Implementation of this approach proves to be accurate, robust, and scalable when evaluated against other approaches. The system is implemented via a user friendly graphical interface.

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