This paper considers the parallel batch processing machine scheduling problem which involves the constraints of unequal ready times, non-identical job sizes, and batch dependent processing times in order to sequence batches on identical parallel batch processing machines with capacity restrictions. This scheduling problem is a practical generalisation of the classical parallel batch processing machine scheduling problem, which has many real-world applications, particularly, in the aging test operation of the module assembly stage in the manufacture of thin film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD). The objective of this paper is to seek a schedule with a minimum total completion time for the parallel batch processing machine scheduling problem. A mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model is proposed to optimise the scheduling problem. In addition, to solve the MILP model more efficiently, an effective compound algorithm is proposed to determine the number of batches and to apply this number as one parameter in the MILP model in order to reduce the complexity of the problem. Finally, three efficient heuristic algorithms for solving the large-scale parallel batch processing machine scheduling problem are also provided.
- Parallel batch; scheduling; unequal ready time