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Morita, D. and Suwa, H.

Paper:

An Exact Method for Robust Capacity Requirements Planning


Daisuke Morita∗ and Haruhiko Suwa∗∗
∗ Takachiho University

2-19-1 Ohmiya, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-8508, Japan


E-mail: morita@takachiho.ac.jp
∗∗
Setsunan University
17-8 Ikeda-naka-machi, Neyagawa, Osaka 572-8508, Japan
E-mail: suwa@mec.setsunan.ac.jp
[Received December 1, 2014; accepted February 24, 2015]

This paper proposes a robust method of capacity re- were proposed [10–12].
quirements planning (CRP) that can generate a stable The citations above show that studies on schedule ro-
load plan against dynamic changes in a manufactur- bustness have mainly addressed shop-floor scheduling
ing environment. In our study, robustness refers to the problems; however, only focusing on the scheduling issue
degree of stability in the load plan for the occurrence is not enough because a schedule is generated based on
of unexpected events. The purpose of the proposed the load plan obtained from the results of capacity require-
method is to determine the processing periods of op- ments planning (CRP) [13, 14]. In other words, the out-
eration orders with the aim of minimizing the proba- come (load plan) of CRP limits the range of the schedul-
bility that the resource requirement of each operation ing decisions. Rom et al. provided a model considering
order will exceed the capacity of corresponding re- CRP and material requirements planning (MRP) under
sources. Through numerical experiments, we demon- job shop environments and based on resource-constrained
strate the effectiveness of the proposed CRP method in project scheduling concepts [15]. Wortman et al. re-
terms of its robustness. viewed the capacity planning techniques of standard soft-
ware packages [16]. Billington et al. presented a compre-
Keywords: capacity requirements planning, robust load hensive review of previous works in order to deal with
plan, dynamic environment, uncertainty, exact method linear and integer programming approaches to capacity
constraint MRP systems [17]. Matsuura et al. devel-
oped a method for setting appropriate lead times in order
1. Introduction to minimize capacity requirement variations in the CRP
phase [18]. Hastings et al. summarized traditional MRP
In a dynamic manufacturing environment, it is impor- logic and difficulties with lead time MRP and CRP [19].
tant to generate a robust plan to facilitate responses to cus- Various CRP methods have been proposed and reviewed
tomers quickly and highly productively [1, 2]. It seems to in the literature, including those mentioned above, but no
recognized that production/machine scheduling is key to CRP methods directing the robustness of a plan have been
solving such difficult challenges. Daniels et al. have pre- discussed. If a robust load plan could be generated at the
sented exact and heuristic solution procedures for min- CRP phase, it would be expected to be able to predict
imizing robustness measures. This solution was based productivity under dynamic manufacturing circumstances
on a worst-case absolute deviation (or percentage devi- and to conduct an effective scheduling decision flexibly.
ation) of total flow time from the optimal solution in a From the aforementioned point of view, we have pro-
single-machine environment [3]. Kouvelis et al. pro- posed a heuristic method for CRP in uncertain environ-
posed a method of minimizing the measurement of sched- ments [20]. The proposed heuristic method determines
ule robustness obtained from worst-case absolute devia- the processing periods of the operation orders with the
tion from the optimal makespan in a two-machine flow aim of minimizing the robustness measurement, which is
shop environment [4]. Leon developed a genetic algo- calculated from the probability that the resource require-
rithm to generate a robust schedule in job shop environ- ment of each of given operation orders exceeds the capac-
ments [5]. Briskorn et al. proposed a method for deter- ity of the corresponding machine resource. This study, as
mining a buffer time in order to protect a schedule from an extension of our conventional work, proposes an ex-
disruptions [6]. Yang presented an algorithm based on act method in order to minimize the robustness measure-
dynamic programming to find an optimal robust solution ment. We first describe a robust CRP model for generat-
that minimizes total completion time [7]. In recent stud- ing a robust load plan and then propose our robust CRP
ies regarding scheduling, environmental issues and man- method. In computational experiments, we demonstrate
ufacturing sustainability were addressed [8, 9], and then the effectiveness of the proposed CRP method in terms
scheduling techniques combined with an evaluation sys- of its robustness by comparing it with some conventional
tem and analysis method for the environmental burden methods.

216 Int. J. of Automation Technology Vol.9 No.3, 2015


An Exact Method for Robust Capacity Requirements Planning

Table 1. CRP instance (N = 17).


M11 M21
i Qi nO
i diO Wi Ri1 Ri2 Di
1 2 8 1 16 0 1 M12 M22
2 2 4 1 8 0 2
3 6 3 4 2 0 12 3 Work Center 1 Work Center 2
4 1 8 1 8 0 2
5 1 8 2 0 8 3 Load Unload
6 2 4 2 0 8 3
7 2 4 1 8 0 1 Fig. 1. Example of manufacturing system.
8 16 1 8 1 8 0 2
9 2 4 2 0 8 3
10 1 8 1 8 0 3 Work Center 1
C1=24
11 2 8 1 16 0 4
2
12 1 8 1 8 0 3 1 11
13 3 4 2 0 12 4 4 10
14 15 1 12 2 0 12 4
7 8 12 15
15 2 4 1 8 0 4
1 2 3 4 period t
16 2 4 2 0 8 3
17 3 4 2 0 12 4

Work Center 2
C2=24
2. Description of Target Problem 13
3 6 14
2.1. CRP 17
5 9 16
We consider the time period t = 1, 2, . . ., T during 1 2 3 4 period t
which operation orders are to be processed. The pro-
cessing period of each operation order is determined so Fig. 2. Feasible load plan of the CRP scheme in Table 1.
that the total resource requirements for each manufactur-
ing resource incurred by operation orders at every unit
time never exceeds the predetermined capacity. Let W = k = k, k ∈ W .
{1, . . ., c} denote a set of work centers in the manufactur- Table 1 shows a CRP instance for a flexible job-shop
ing system. Work center k(k = 1, . . . , c) consists of NkW system consisting of two work centers, as depicted in
identical parallel machines; Mk1 , . . . , MkNW . Production Fig. 1. In this manufacturing system, work centers 1 and
k
capacity over a finite planning horizon, Ck , at work center 2 both consist of two identical parallel machines. Fig. 2
k can be expressed by shows a feasible load plan in the CRP instance appearing
Ck = ck NkW , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) in Table 1. According to this load plan, for example, or-
der 1 is to be processed in the period 1 since its due date
where ck denotes the maximum production capacity per is one.
machine in work center k.
Let A = {1, · · ·, N} denote a set of operation orders
which have to be processed and finished within the plan-
2.2. Machine Scheduling
ning horizon [1, T ]. Each operation order, i ∈ A , specifies At the phase of machine scheduling after CRP, a de-
production of nO O
i products (or parts) taking di unit time.
tailed shop-floor schedule is generated based on the load
Let Si (1 ≤ Si ≤ T ) denote the processing period of op- plan as follows. First, an operation order i is divided into
eration order i, which is a decision variable of focusing nOi tasks, and then each task is assigned to a machine in
CRP. Suppose that operation order i has to be processed in work center Wi . The processing time of each task in op-
the manufacturing system so that each of operation order eration order i agrees with diO . The number of tasks to be
i(i = 1, · · · , N) is completed by the deadline Di . The tech- processed in work center k over the period [ck (t − 1), ckt]
nological order in each operation order can be expressed (t = 1, · · ·, T ) can be given by
by a set, Q i , of its successive operation orders. Suppose ∑i∈AAt Rik
that resource requirement for operation order i, denoted nkt = , . . . . . . . . . . . . (3)
diO
by Ri , is given by
where At = {i | Si = t} expresses a set of operation orders
Ri = nO
i di . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2)
O
that are processed over a period t(= 1, · · ·, T ).
Note that Rik will be utilized instead of Ri in the remainder For each period t, a detailed schedule is supposed to
of this paper to specify the work center where operation be generated through the use of a scheduling method. In
order i is to be processed, i.e., Rik = Ri , and Rik = 0 for this study, we propose the exact optimization method in-

Int. J. of Automation Technology Vol.9 No.3, 2015 217


Morita, D. and Suwa, H.

time
M11 7 1 4 2 10 15 11
M12 7 1 8 2 12 15 11
M21 3 3 6 9 14 13 17 17
M22 3 5 6 9 16 16 13 13 17
period 1 period 2 period 3 period 4
0 12 24 36 48
Fig. 3. Shop-floor schedule obtained from the load plan depicted in Fig. 2.

troduced in the next section. Fig. 3 shows an example of center k exceeds τ (Ck+1 ≤ τ ≤ Ukt ), and Ukt denotes
a shop-floor schedule obtained from the load plan illus- the upper limit of available manufacturing resources (i.e.,
trated in Fig. 2. From the result of scheduling, we have production capacity) of work center k during period t. The
(n11 , n12 , n13 , n14 ) = (4, 4, 2, 4) and (n21 , n22 , n23 , n24 ) = above CRP problem is to find a feasible load plan that
(4, 4, 3, 6). We can see idle times in the shop-floor sched- minimizes C. The precedence relations between opera-
ule, existing before processing the production orders 6, tions is expressed by Eq. (5). Eq. (6) represents a con-
13, 14, 15, and 16, due to a waiting time for their respec- straint that operation order i has to be finished by its dead-
tive preceding production orders to be finished. line Di . Eq. (7) also expresses a constraint that all opera-
tion orders have to be finished over the planning horizon
[1, T ], and Eq. (8) describes the production capacity of the
3. Robust CRP Method manufacturing system. Eq. (9) means the operation orders
have to be processed only one time, and, finally, Eq. (10)
3.1. Mathematical Model defines the decision variables xit .
Each task of given operation orders is processed ac-
cording to a released shop-floor schedule. However, in 3.2. Exact Method for Robust CRP Model
real manufacturing situations, the processing time of tasks We here propose an exact method to solve the CRP
are often extended due to unforeseen events. If we could problem defined in the previous section. Its procedure can
specify the processing period of each operation as well as be summarized as follows:
forecast the frequency of such unexpected events and the
delayed operation times beforehand in CRP, it would be Step 1 Set λ = 0. Initialize a set of solutions, Oλ = {X 0 }
expected to realize stable manufacturing. and O λ +1 = {0},
/ where X 0 indicates a matrix of
To describe the CRP problem, we use a binary decision decision variables x0it = 0 (i ∈ A ,t = 1, · · ·T ).
variable xit , which takes one if operations order i is pro-

cessed over the period t and otherwise takes zero. With Step 2 If λ = T , then stop and output the solution X y ,
this notation, a CRP problem to find a robust load plan which is the best in O λ . Otherwise, select a solu-
can be described as follows: tion X y from O λ and calculate F y = {i | ∑t=1
Di
xit =
W T
k∈W Ukt 1}.
min . C= ∑∑ ∑ Gkt (τ ) . . . . . (4)
t=1 τ =Ck +1 Step 3 Identify all subsets E 1 , · · ·, E ξ ⊆ A \ F y and gen-
Dj 1 ξ
Di erate new solutions X y , · · ·, X y . The decision
s.t. ∑ txit < ∑ tx jt , (i ∈ A, j ∈ Q i ) . . . (5) z z
variable xyit in X y satisfies the following equation
t=1 t=1
Di
(z = 1, · · · ξ ):
∑ txit ≤ Di , (i ∈ A ) . . . . . . (6)
z

1 if i ∈ E z and t = λ + 1
t=1
  xyit = (11)
Di xyit otherwise
max
i∈A
∑ txit ≤ T, . . . . . . . (7)
t=1 ξ
Step 4 Set O λ +1 ← O λ +1 ∪ {X y , · · ·, X y } and O λ ←
1

∑ xit Rik ≤ Ck , (k ∈ W ,t = 1, · · · , T ) (8) Oλ \ X y .


A
i∈A
T
Step 5 If any one of the following conditions holds, then
∑ xit = 1, (i ∈ A ) . . . . . . (9) 
O λ +1 ← O λ +1 \ {X y }.
t=1
xit ∈ {0, 1}, (i ∈ A ,t = 1, · · · , T ) (10) 
a) Two solutions X y and X y , in O λ +1 satisfy
where Gkt (τ ) in Eq. (4) expresses the probability that the F y = F y and Cy ≤ Cy where Cy is the total
total amount of resource required during period t on work probability obtained from the solution X y .

218 Int. J. of Automation Technology Vol.9 No.3, 2015


An Exact Method for Robust Capacity Requirements Planning


T
b) Both of the equations ∑t=1 xyit = 0 and λ + 1 ≥ Table 2. The number of problems solved optimally and

Di hold for X y . average CPU-time.

c) ∑i∈A xyiλ +1 Rik > Ck holds (k ∈ W ). Parameter Performance
(N1W , N2W ) N No. of solved CPU-time [sec.]
Step 6 If O λ = {0},
/ then set λ ← λ + 1. Go back to
(1,1) 45 5 2.2
Step 2.
50 5 43.5
55 5 1038.6
60 0 –
4. Computational Experiments (1,2) 45 5 2.5
50 5 193.6
4.1. Simulation Schemes
55 5 2137.4
The proposed method was applied to flexible job-shop 60 0 –
systems with two work centers (c = 2), each of which has (1,3) 45 5 6.4
a single machine or two machines in parallel. The pro- 50 5 66.7
duction capacity c1 at work center 1 (WC1) was set to 12, 55 4 3182.2
and c2 = 12 at WC2 as well. The requirement of resource 60 0 –
Rik and the number of products, nO i of operation order i (2,2) 45 5 2.2
were given by a discrete uniform distribution over [1, 12]. 50 5 6.1
The due date Di of operation order i was set to 3, 6, 9, or 55 5 433.4
12. We considered four time windows of the period, i.e., 60 0 –
[1, 3], [4, 6], [7, 9], and [10, 12], within the planning hori-
zon. The end of each time window, 3, 6, 9 or, 12, indicates
the due date of the corresponding operation orders. For
example, The operation orders with due date is 3 (Di = 3) schedules were executed. The unexpected events refer
are supposed to be assigned over the time window [1, 3]. to delays in material procurements, machine breakdowns,
etc. We postulate a delay time following an exponential
distribution with mean 1/λ . In other words, the proba-
4.2. Number of Problems Solved Optimally bility density function fX (≥ 0) with regard to a random
We considered four different problem groups which variable X denoting a delay time is defined by the follow-
have, respectively, (N1W , N2W ) = (1, 1), (1, 2), (1, 3) and ing:
(2, 2) in order to investigate the performance of our pro- 
posed method. Five instances for each problem group λ e−λ x , (x ≥ 0)
fX (x) = . . . . . . . (12)
were randomly generated. We also considered the num- 0. (x < 0)
ber of operation orders N = 45, 50, 55, and 60, yielding
80 instances in total. Table 2 summarizes the number of Parameter λ was set to 2 in the computational experi-
problems solved optimally within one hour and also the ments.
average CPU time to find the optimal solution using the The proposed CRP method was compared to the fol-
proposed method. lowing two methods, which can be regarded as typical
Table 2 shows that 59 instances were solved optimally heuristics in practical use.
within one hour by using the proposed method. The time • Forward method: Determines the processing periods
needed to solve them using the proposed method tends Si of operation order i (∈ A) so that operation order
to increase with the number of operation orders N due to i is processed as early as possible; each operation
an increase in the number of existing feasible load plans. order is to be assigned with its earliest processing
In the case of the instances with N = 55, the average CPU periods on the load plan.
time becomes longer than those with N = 45 and 50. Note
that all of the instances with N = 45 were solved within • Backward method: Determines the processing peri-
several seconds while it took from seven to 53 minutes ods Si of operation order i (∈ A ) so that operation or-
to solve the instances with N = 55. One of the instances der i is processed as late as possible while still meet-
even took 1.5 hours (N1W , N2W ) = (2, 2), to obtain an op- ing its due date. This approach allocates each op-
timal load plan. For the instances with 60 orders, no op- eration order to the corresponding work center with
timal solutions were obtained within one hour using our its latest processing periods without violating its own
method. Considering this observation, we employed the due date.
instances with N = 45, 50, and 55 but not N = 60 for the
computational simulations described in the next section. For each instance, we applied the above delay schemes
for 100 times to the shop-floor schedule obtained from the
load plan by each CRP method. Note that the production
4.3. Comparison to Conventional Method schedule was generated by using Earliest Due Date (EDD)
We carried out scheduling simulations under situations first. Then, for each task, j, we calculated the deviation
with unexpected delays occurring randomly while the from the actual starting time sj from the planned starting

Int. J. of Automation Technology Vol.9 No.3, 2015 219


Morita, D. and Suwa, H.

Table 3. Average delay time in the instances with number Table 4. Average delay time in the instances with number
of machine (N1W , N2W ) = (1, 1), (1, 2). of machine (N1W , N2W ) = (1, 3), (2, 2).

(N1W , N2W ) N No. (P) (F) (B) (N1W , N2W ) N No. (P) (F) (B)
(1,1) 45 1 190.8 423.0 209.9 (1,3) 45 1 442.9 725.2 509.0
2 179.8 308.6 216.4 2 224.3 374.6 297.2
3 439.7 665.5 405.5 3 470.8 816.8 518.3
4 315.7 401.2 315.8 4 342.3 428.6 358.0
5 134.0 339.9 146.9 5 428.6 962.7 812.4
50 1 222.8 391.7 213.0 50 1 319.8 426.7 356.4
2 227.9 528.1 285.3 2 336.8 425.4 217.9
3 172.2 338.0 249.8 3 291.2 715.0 421.2
4 170.0 483.7 285.3 4 354.2 532.1 447.3
5 330.7 558.3 334.6 5 308.2 372.7 232.7
55 1 151.9 442.5 337.7 55 1 465.3 625.5 472.8
2 401.7 571.2 452.0 2 245.0 586.8 326.5
3 244.6 600.1 254.8 3 229.1 362.1 267.1
4 350.4 799.3 505.2 4 383.2 452.7 389.3
5 357.8 766.3 475.5 5 545.3 923.4 560.7
(1,2) 45 1 155.3 324.1 204.5 (2,2) 45 1 251.9 375.3 283.4
2 344.4 376.3 268.2 2 325.5 442.5 351.4
3 89.2 136.1 88.4 3 408.6 567.1 445.1
4 242.2 345.5 207.7 4 264.1 410.0 258.7
5 448.9 587.4 288.5 5 334.4 761.4 670.4
50 1 266.6 487.2 274.7 50 1 551.9 1265.3 1117.3
2 337.8 517.4 492.1 2 199.3 606.9 291.8
3 412.2 723.5 510.0 3 383.8 614.1 616.7
4 502.1 1040.1 810.9 4 520.4 596.8 513.7
5 312.2 530.3 418.6 5 712.6 659.7 590.9
55 1 264.1 453.4 224.0 55 1 302.3 546.5 449.7
2 365.7 459.0 381.8 2 419.3 1043.4 548.1
3 366.3 609.3 239.1 3 357.9 451.4 422.1
4 310.0 525.2 315.9 4 555.8 721.1 603.9
5 390.0 609.5 332.9 5 436.3 836.0 628.9

and forward methods in 45 instances with regards to the


time s j , which is defined by the following:
reduction of the delay times. As a whole, it is revealed
h(sj , s j ) = max(0, sj − s j ). . . . . . . . . (13) that the proposed method is the most effective in terms of
the reduction in the delay time.
Table 3 shows the average delay time for the 100 simu-
lation runs in the instances with the number of machine
(N1W , N2W ) = (1, 1), (1, 2) for each method, and Table 4 5. Conclusion
summarizes the average delay time in the instances with
the (N1W , N2W ) = (1, 3), (2, 2) number of machine as well. We have proposed an exact method for CRP that can
The average delay time by the forward method is larger produce a robust load plan. The proposed CRP method
than the times by the other two methods, regardless of determines the period during which the operation or-
the number of orders and machines. This is because, by der is to be processed so as to minimize the probabil-
the forward method, the load plans with less production ity that the resource requirement of each of given op-
capacity at every period were generated. The average de- eration orders exceeds the capacity of the correspond-
lay time by the backward method is shorter than those by ing machine resource. In computational experiments, the
both the proposed method and the forward method for a load plans generated by the proposed method were com-
few instances. The backward method tends to allocate pared to those generated using the conventional method,
the operation orders based on their deadline, so the re- and the effectiveness of the proposed method was demon-
sulting load plans have longer time buffers than do those strated. The proposed method was compared to two con-
obtained by the forward method. This is why stable load ventional methods, and it was demonstrated that the pro-
plans against uncertainties were generated by the back- posed method outperforms them. Future work is to im-
ward method. Finally, judging by the results in Tables 3 prove the performance of the proposed method in order to
and 4, the proposed method outperforms the backward produce solutions for cases that are the larger in scale.

220 Int. J. of Automation Technology Vol.9 No.3, 2015


An Exact Method for Robust Capacity Requirements Planning

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