Production scheduling in a foundry machine shop

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The scheduling of production in job shops is generally accomplished in four stages; aggregate planning, machine loading, sequencing and detailed scheduling. In industrial job shops, the number of jobs and machines makes detailed scheduling a particularly complicated and unwieldy task. When faced with this situation, a typical response of managements is to simply ignore the problem and apply some remedial action by adapting existing company operation procedures. The first objective of this dissertation is to indicate the dangers and inefficiencies which result when the problem of detailed scheduling is ignored. This is done in terms of a case study analysis in which the problems which currently exist in the machine shop at Atlantis Aluminium, a jobbing foundry, are illustrated. The second objective is to develop a systematic approach for the solution of detailed scheduling in job shops. Major steps in this approach are: i) a classification of shop scheduling problems ii) a survey of relevant scheduling literature in order to determine existing detailed scheduling techniques iii) the design of the scheduling system This approach is illustrated by applying it to the machine shop at Atlantis Aluminium.

Bibliography: pages 89-92.