Prof. Norbert Trautmann

Institute for finance management, University of Bern

September 26, 2007, 11:15, Room GC B3 424 (click here for the map)

A Two-Level Approach for Short-Term Planning of Batch Production on Multi-Purpose Plants in the Chemical Industry

We consider the problem of planning and scheduling the execu- tion of physical and chemical transformation processes on a multi-product chemical batch production plant. Such a plant consists of several multi- purpose processing units and storage facilities of limited capacity. Given primary requirements for final products, the problem consists in generating an appropriate set of batches for each process and scheduling the process- ing of these batches on the processing units subject to different types of technological constraints. In the literature, the short-term planning problem is generally modeled as a monolithic mixed-integer linear program. Due to the combinatorial nature of the problem, those models generally cannot be used when dealing with problem instances of practical size. In this talk we present a two-level approach which is based on a decom- position of the problem into a batching and a batch-scheduling problem. We formulate the batching problem as a mixed-integer nonlinear program that can be transformed into a mixed-integer linear program and solved using standard software. For solving the batch-scheduling problem, we sketch a schedule-generation scheme and a corresponding multi-pass heuristic. We report on computational results for two sample production processes from the chemical engineering literature.


Norbert Trautmann received the Business Engineering, PhD and Habilitation degrees from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany) in 1997, 2000, and 2004, respectively. His PhD thesis was awarded by the Ger- man Operations Research Society. Since 2005 he is an Assistant Professor in Quantitative Methods at the Department of Business Administration of the University of Bern. Norbert Trautmann's main research areas are Production and Opera- tions Management and Project Scheduling. He has published in Interna- tional Journal of Production Research, International Transactions in Oper- ational Research, European Journal of Operational Research and OR Spectrum.