PRODUCTION SCHEDULING HEURISTICS FOR FREQUENT LOAD-SHEDDING SCENARIOS: A KNOWLEDGE ENGINEERING APPROACH
Keywords:Load-shedding, predictive and reactive scheduling, knowledge engineering
Most industrial machinery and equipment used by the South African manufacturing sector is powered by either a direct current or an alternating current electricity supply. With the recent frequent power cuts caused by load shedding, operations managers have a difficult time trying to satisfy demand. Power cuts are a supplier-related operational disturbance that leads to production halts, increased downtime, and a significant compromise in delivery due date conformance. The paper presents heuristic rules of thumb that can be applied during the process planning and scheduling of orders during cases of frequent load shedding to maintain high levels of system reliability and productivity. Different load shedding scenarios are characterised, and an appropriate strategy for production planning and scheduling is outlined for each scenario. A knowledge engineering approach is employed in the study, with expert opinions derived from surveys and the literature employed to generate the strategies. These strategies are validated through a simulation study conducted in a small manufacturing firm.
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