From machine utilisation to flow time: Effects of Lean transformation on scheduling




Tokola, Henri
Niemi, Esko
Kyrenius, Pekka

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


DEStech Publications, Inc.


The Lean paradigm transforms a production company from utilisation-centric planning into a system in which other operating conditions such as short flow times, local control, and reduction in variation are weighted as well. This paper studies how the scheduling of production changes when the above three conditions are implemented. Their effects are studied by constructing an optimisation model for the scheduling of a flow shop. The optimisation model is based on the following ideas. First, when the flow time is emphasised, the objective of the scheduling changes from utilisation to a short flow time. Second, if local control is used, it means that the optimisation is done locally, i.e. individually at each station, and it concerns the makespan at the station. Third, if the variation is reduced, the processing times and arrival times have less variation and the scheduling can force the flow times to have less variation by using first-in-first-out (FIFO) sequencing. The experimental results achieved using the model describe how and in which order the operating conditions under study should be implemented in the scheduling. For example, if utilisation is important, local control and FIFO should not be used before variation is reduced.


Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Flexible Automation & Intelligent Manufacturing, held May 20-23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, and organized by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, University of Texas at San Antonio
Includes bibliographical references


Lean manufacturing, Production scheduling--Mathematical models, Just-in-time systems