This paper considers the problem of scheduling part families and jobs within each part family in a flowshop manufacturing cell with sequence dependent family setups times where it is desired to minimize the makespan while processing parts (jobs) in each family together. Two evolutionary algorithms—a Genetic Algorithm and a Memetic Algorithm with local search—are proposed and empirically evaluated as to their effectiveness in finding optimal permutation schedules. The proposed algorithms use a compact representation for the solution and a hierarchically structured population where the number of possible neighborhoods is limited by dividing the population into clusters. In comparison to a Multi-Start procedure, solutions obtained by the proposed evolutionary algorithms were very close to the lower bounds for all problem instances. Moreover, the comparison against the previous best algorithm, a heuristic named CMD, indicated a considerable performance improvement.
Computers & Industrial Engineering Vol. 48, Issue 3, p. 491-506