Task of the utilization planning is the assignment of toolkits to press lines considering technical and organizational restrictions. The great number of variants in combination with complicated contraints makes utilization planning intractable for humans. Likewise from a mathematical point of view, the problem features a high complexity: it belongs to the class of assignment problems, which in turn are proven to be NP-hard.
The project MBOpt comprehends the development of a software which computes a month-wise assignment of toolkits to press lines for the whole time horizon considering all constraints. The objective is to minimize overall costs, which comprise costs of manufacture, logistics, external procurement, and change of machine. The computed assignments feature a high and even load of machines as well as little need of expensive external production capacity. The specified restrictions assure a certain degree of continuity in the manufacturing process, e.g. a minimum period before change of machine or change of shift model.
The software is already successfully in use with our project partner BMW. It makes possible a considerable reduction of planning work and thus a higher degree of efficiency in the planning process, particularly with regard to sensitivity analysis.