Task Optimization and Workforce Scheduling
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This thesis focuses on task sequencing and manpower scheduling to develop robust schedules for an aircraft manufacturer. The production of an aircraft goes through a series of multiple workstations, each consisting of a large number of interactive tasks and a limited number of working zones. The duration of each task varies from operator to operator, because most operations are performed manually. These factors limit the ability of managers to balance, optimize, and change the statement of work in each workstation. In addition, engineers spend considerable amount of time to manually develop schedules that may be incompatible with the changes in the production rate. To address the above problems, the current state of work centers are first analyzed. Then, several deterministic mathematical programming models are developed to minimize the total production labour cost for a target cycle time. The mathematical models seek to find optimal schedules by eliminating and/or considering the effect of overtime on the production cost. The resulting schedules decrease the required number of operators by 16% and reduce production cycle time of work centers by 53% to 67%. Using these models, the time needed to develop a schedule is reduced from 36 days to less than a day. To handle the stochasticity of the task durations, a two-stage stochastic programming model is developed to minimize the total production labour cost and to find the number of operators that are able to work under every scenario. The solution of the two-stage stochastic programming model finds the same number of operators as that of the deterministic models, but reduces the time to adjust production schedules by 88%.