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Scheduling a proportionate flow shop of batching machines

Hertrich, Christoph; Weiß, Christian; Ackermann, Heiner; Heydrich, Sandy; Krumke, Sven O.

In this paper we study a proportionate flow shop of batching machines with release dates and a fixed number m≥2 of machines. The scheduling problem has so far barely received any attention in the literature, but recently its importance has increased significantly, due to applications in the industrial scaling of modern bio-medicine production processes. We show that for any fixed number of machines, the makespan and the sum of completion times can be minimized in polynomial time. Furthermore, we show that the obtained algorithm can also be used to minimize the weighted total completion time, maximum lateness, total tardiness and (weighted) number of late jobs in polynomial time if all release dates are 0. Previously, polynomial time algorithms have only been known for two machines.
Published in: Journal of Scheduling, 10.1007/s10951-020-00667-2, Springer