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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 456719, 9 pages
Research Article

No-Wait Flexible Flow Shop Scheduling with Due Windows

Department of Business Administration, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan

Received 12 January 2015; Accepted 19 February 2015

Academic Editor: Yunqiang Yin

Copyright © 2015 Rong-Hwa Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To improve capacity and reduce processing time, the flow shop with multiprocessors (FSMP) system is commonly used in glass, steel, and semiconductor production. No-wait FSMP is a modern production system that responds to periods when zero work is required in process production. The production process must be continuous and uninterrupted. Setup time must also be considered. Just-in-time (JIT) production is very popular in industry, and timely delivery is important to customer satisfaction. Therefore, it is essential to consider the time window constraint, which is also very complex. This study focuses on a no-wait FSMP problem with time window constraint. An improved ant colony optimization (ACO), known as ant colony optimization with flexible update (ACOFU), is developed to solve the problem. The results demonstrate that ACOFU is more effective and robust than ACO when applied to small-scale problems. ACOFU has superior solution capacity and robustness when applied to large-scale problems. Therefore, this study concludes that the proposed algorithm ACOFU performs excellently when applied to the scheduling problem discussed in this study.