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In general the planning of 6 
requires the solution of three problems:

1.| À

 i.e. the quantity of items or customers to be processed at
one time.
2.| c   
 i.e. the determination of the order in which batches of different items
or customers will be processed.
3.| c 
 i.e. the timing of the processing of batches of items or customers.

The critical problem in batch production is a question of control i.e. that of ensuring that orders
progress as planned. Batch production is often undertaken for a customer delivery promise
whereas mass production plans can be made because of fewer products and the use of specially
designed equipment. Here deviations from plans can mostly be caused by mechanical
breakdowns. With batch production interaction between jobs is less certain as is the completion
time of each operation (since time is not standardised variations in element times occur).
Problems regarding batch production can occur for a multiplicity of reasons such as machine
breakdown quality problems (need for re-working) material movement (causing loss or
damage) operator performance (varies because of the manufacture of different batches) variable
queuing time and tooling availability.

1.| À


Batch quantities which are too large will result in high stock levels and cause a large amount of
capital to be tied up in stock which might otherwise be invested elsewhere. Additionally unduly
high stock levels will incur other costs such as the cost of stock-keeping insurance
depreciation etc. on the other hand batch quantities which are too small will result in both low
stock levels which may be insufficient to meet large fluctuations in demand and also the
frequent processing of small batches each time incurring costs associated with set-up ordering

The problem then is to determine the ?  

 that minimises total costs; consequently
we must consider the following:

a.| ^tock holding

b.| Processing
c.| ^et-up and preparation of machines and equipment.

These are reflected in a formula which gives us the µminimum cost batch size¶ (E.O.Q.) or
EBQ = ¥ 2Cs R



Where EBQ ± process batch quantity

Cs ± set-up and preparation costs per batch

C1 ±stock holding costs per item per unit of time

R ± consumption rate per unit of time (usage rate)

This formula assumes a static and deterministic situation i.e. one in which both processing and
consumption rates are known and constant.

The minimum cost batch size and its associated total cost are shown in the following diagram.
From this we can see that the bigger the batch size the higher would be the stock holding costs.
However set-up and preparation costs will decrease as the batch increases. By adding these two
costs together we can derive the total cost. The batch size corresponding to the minimum total
cost will be the optimal batch size.

Because of the frequent difficulty of accurately establishing costs such as Cs C1 Eilon has
developed a procedure for the determination of an acceptable processing range which is
dependent upon knowing the allowable increase in the total variable costs of production. ^ince
the T.C. curve is fairly flat in the region of minimum cost the total variable cost is not terribly
sensitive to deviations from optimal batch size. It is possible therefore to adopt a batch size
which differs slightly from the optimal without incurring substantially increased costs. Batch
quantities within this production range are considered as acceptable. In the diagram above
management will be willing to process batch sizes which fall between the production range of
Q1 and Q2.

Although the compromise on the optimal batch size is acceptable it still suffers certain
shortcomings. For example no mention has been made to the selling price of items since a
minimum cost batch size can be determined without reference to selling cost or profit. One might
agree that other criteria for batch size determination should be adopted and indeed many other
treatments of the batch size determination problem exist which depend upon criteria such as
profit maximisation of µreturn¶ (ratio of profit to cost of production) maximisation of rate of
return etc. many computer programmes have included these additional data.

2.| c   

Very often the order or sequence in which the different items are to be processed will be
determined either by the process itself or by the setting-up or preparation requirement for each
item. For example in a paint-manufacturing process it is desirable to manufacture lighter colours
first and darker colours later. In such cases the only problems to be solved are the desirable
length of the complete manufacturing cycle (i.e. the time required to manufacture one batch of
all the products) and the frequency of the cycles.

In intermittent batch production each individual batch requires processing through a number of
operations on a series of facilities. Here the basic question to be answered is ± in  ?  


 bearing in mind that in different situations it may be
necessary to achieve different objectives.

It is important to distinguish two basic classes of problem which involve firstly


a.| ^  

?  ?
?  ?



? ?

 The objective in such a case is usually to minimise
the total through-put time.

No mathematical solution has been developed for solving the sequencing problem. However
·  developed on algorithm to solve a simple problem comprising a number of jobs
processed through two facilities. In certain cases the algorithm may be extended to a three
machine sequence but beyond that no exact solution procedures exists.


A sequencing algorithm for two facilities and µ µ jobs can be developed where µ µ jobs are to be
processed on each of two facilities (A and B) with the same order (AB) and no passing thus:

Let Ai > O (I ± «n)

Bi ± the same for facility B

The objective is to minimise through-put time.

The solution procedure includes:

1.| ^elect shortest time (or remaining time).

2.| If this is Ai put that job first (or nearest first).
3.| If this is Bi put that job last (or nearest last).
4.| Delete this job from the table.
5.| Return to 1.

An example of the two-facility ± job sequencing problem and its solution using this procedure is
shown below:

Job Ai Bi ^equence
A 5 1 6
B 4 5 3
C 6 5 5
D 7 6 4
E 2 6 1
F 3 4 2

These six jobs should be sequenced in the order: E F B D C A

A simple rule one can adopt is:

^ ? ? ??? ?? ?


?? ??? 


b.| À



 ? ? 

With dispatching one normally operates within different and often conflicting objectives for

??   the objective is to attempt to gain the best use of

??  ? ?
 the objectives would be to provide good
customer service;

??   ?    to decrease the amount of work-in-progress.

The principal method of job dispatching is by means of 

  rather than rigorous
mathematical rules. Priority rules may be classified into two distinct classes static and dynamic.

a.| ^ 
are those in which the value of the priority function does not change with
time. E.g. earliest due date first shortest processing time first.
b.| À 
on the other hand give a priority value which changes with time. Relative
priorities of jobs change depending on progress. An example would be the slack time per
remaining operation: [due date ± time now] ± remaining processing time here the priority
rule is changing. Although one date is fixed as time passes and some work is carried on
that job its priority rule is changing continually.

Priority value depends on ³time now´ and will need to be continually modified. In practice
priority values will be calculated on a daily or weekly basis but dynamic rules will be calculated
more frequently and therefore more costly to operate.
The effectiveness of a chosen priority can only be assessed by putting the rule into practice and
judging with regard to the three criteria described earlier.

The most popular priority rules are:

a.| [

 ± the first job/customer arriving at the work centre is processed
b.| £ 
   ± the job with the earliest due date is proceeded first.
c.| ^

 ± load first the job which occupies least time.
d.| Î 


Whether one should choose a particular role rather than another normally depends on the
objective one is chasing.

- Three measures of efficiency:

a. Average completion time ^um of flow time totals


No of jobs

b. Average number of jobs in the system: ^um of flow time totals


Total processing time

c. Average job lateness: Total of late days


No of jobs

The effectiveness of a chosen priority can only be assessed by putting the rule into practice and
judging with regard to certain criteria. This however could be time-consuming and also
expensive if a poor rule were chosen. An alternative is therefore simulation which is quicker but
usually simplifies the situation by making numerous assumptions e.g.

- The operation times (including set-up) for all jobs are known and are independent of
processing order:

- Operations once started must be completed.

- No facility may process more than one job at a time.

- Transport between facilities is neglected.

- Operations must be carried out in a predetermined order.

- Machines and labour are available in known quantities.

- The µsplitting¶ of batches is not permitted.

Most computer aided despatching systems make use of priority rules but are in a position to use
more complex formulae than the manual systems. Moreover many packages involve the use of a
factor or factors which may be varied by the user and tested until the desired results are obtained.