Operations and shipment scheduling of a batch on a flexible machine

Seyed M.R. Iravani*, John A. Buzacott, Morton J.M. Posner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We consider processing and shipment scheduling of a batch of size M jobs on a flexible (multifunctional) machine. All jobs in the batch require the same sequence of N operations on the machine. Costs are incurred in the forms of holding costs of jobs waiting for the next operation, setup costs whenever the machine is set up for a new operation, and shipment cost whenever the whole batch or a part of it is shipped to the customer. Using a dynamic programming formulation of the problem, we first show how the problem size increases in M and N. Then, by focusing on the properties of some classes of batch-splitting policies, a heuristic algorithm is presented that generates suboptimal policies. Some numerical results are provided which show that the algorithm performs very well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-601
Number of pages17
JournalOperations Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Production/scheduling, approximation/heuristic: flexible machine scheduling
  • Transportation, scheduling: integrated production and transportation model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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