Thurer, Matthias and Huang, George and Stevenson, Mark and Silva, Cristovao and Filho, Moacir (2012) The performance of due date setting rules in assembly and multi-stage job shops:an assessment by simulation. International Journal of Production Research, 50 (20). pp. 5949-5965. ISSN 0020-7543
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Setting short yet reliable Due Dates (DDs) is an important early production planning and control task. The majority of job-shop research on DD setting assumes simple product structures without assembly operations. However, in practice, product structures are often complex, and multiple final assembly operations may be required. This paper evaluates the performance of DD setting rules in the context of complex product structures, considering two scenarios: two-level assembly job shops, where orders converge on one final assembly operation; and two-level multi-stage job shops, where a series of assembly operations are undertaken. New rules are proposed which are substantially simpler and more suitable for practical use than those in the literature. These rules are only outperformed by a more sophisticated rule from the wider literature, newly introduced into the context of assembly and multi-stage job shops. Which rule to apply in practice depends on whether a manager considers the improvement in performance more important than the loss of simplicity. Future research should investigate how jobs can be planned and controlled effectively when some or all DDs are set externally by customers rather than internally using a DD setting rule.
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