A bi-objective stochastic programming model for optimising automated material handling systems with reliability considerations

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The optimisation of material handling systems (MHSs) can lead to substantial cost reductions in manufacturing systems. Choosing adequate and relevant performance measures is critical in accurately evaluating MHSs. The majority of performance measures used in MHSs are time-based. However, moving materials within a manufacturing system utilise time and cost. In this study, we consider both time and cost measures in an optimisation model used to evaluate an MHS with automated guided vehicles. We take into account the reliability of the MHSs because of the need for steadiness and stability in the automated manufacturing systems. Reliability is included in the model as a cost function. Furthermore, we consider bi-objective stochastic programming to optimise the time and cost objectives because of the uncertainties inherent in the optimisation parameters in real-world problems. We use perceptron neural networks to transform the bi-objective optimisation model into a single objective model. We use numerical experiments to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model and exhibit the efficacy of the procedures and algorithms.




Tavana, M., Fazlollahtabar, H. and Hassanzade, R. (2014) ‘A Bi-Objective Stochastic Programming Model for Optimising Automated Material Handling Systems with Reliability Considerations,’ International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 52, No. 19, pp. 5597-5610.