A multiple-product reentrant line scheduling method includes the steps of storing a time measurement variable for each one of a plurality of incomplete products disposed in a buffer at a workstation, the time measurement variable representing the entry of the incomplete product into the reentrant line, storing a time measurement variable for the buffer representing the time remaining for incomplete products of the same product type disposed in the buffer to be completed, calculating the difference between the stored time measurement variable for each incomplete product and the stored time measurement variable for the buffer to generate a slack variable for each incomplete product, normalizing the slack variable for each incomplete product by comparing the slack variable of each incomplete product with the slack variables for all incomplete products of same product type that have passed through the workstation to generate a selection variable for each incomplete product, comparing the selection variables to select one of the incomplete products for processing at the workstation, and processing the selected incomplete product. An apparatus for carrying out the scheduling method is also provided.
|Original language||English (US)|
|U.S. patent number||5706200|
|State||Published - Jan 6 1998|