17th AIAI 2021, 25 - 27 June 2021, Greece

Improving the flexibility of production scheduling in flat steel production through standard and AI-based approaches: challenges and perspectives

Vincenzo Iannino, Valentina Colla, Alessandro Maddaloni, Jens Brandenburger, Ahmad Rajabi, Andreas Wolff, Joaquin Ordieres, Miguel Gutierrez, Erwin Sirovnik, Dirk Mueller, Christoph Schirm


  In recent years, the European Steel Industry, in particular flat steel production, is facing an increasingly competitive market situation. The product price is determined by competition, and the only way to increase profit is to reduce production and commercial costs. One method to increase production yield is to create proper scheduling for the components on the available machines, so that an order is timely completed, optimizing resource exploitation and minimizing delays. The optimization of production using efficient scheduling strategies has received ever increasing attention over time and is one of the most investigated optimization problems. The paper presents three approaches for improving flexibility of production scheduling in flat steel facilities. Each method has different scopes and modelling aspects: an auction-based multi-agent system is used to deal with production uncertainties, a multi-objective mixed-integer linear programming-based approach is applied for global optimal scheduling of resources under steady conditions, and a continuous flow model approach provides long-term production scheduling. Simulation results show the goodness of each method and their suitability to different production conditions, by highlighting their advantages and limitations.  

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