Parallel Batch Processing for the Coating Problem


  • Matthias Horn Delft University of Technology
  • Emir Demirović Delft University of Technology
  • Neil Yorke-Smith Delft University of Technology



Planning with time and resources, Classical planning techniques and analysis, Applications and case studies of plannin and scheduling techniques


We solve a challenging scheduling problem with parallel batch processing and two-dimensional shelf strip packing constraints that arises in the tool coating field. Tools are assembled on so-called planetaries (batches) before they are loaded into coating machines to get coated. The assembling is not trivial and must fulfil specific constraints, which we refer to as shelf strip packing constraints. Further, each tool is associated with a starting time window s.t. tools can only be put on the same planetary if their time window overlap. The objective is to minimise the makespan and the number of required planetaries. Since the problem naturally decomposes into scheduling and packing parts, we tackle the problem with a two-phase logic-based Benders decomposition approach. The master problem assigns items to batches. The first phase solves as subproblem the packing problem by checking if the assignment is feasible, whereas the second phase solves the scheduling subproblem. The approach is compared with a monolithic mixed integer linear programming approach as well as a monolithic constraint programming approach. Experimental evaluation shows that our proposed approach outperforms the state-of-the-art benchmarks by solving more instances to optimality in a shorter time.




How to Cite

Horn, M., Demirović, E., & Yorke-Smith, N. (2023). Parallel Batch Processing for the Coating Problem. Proceedings of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, 33(1), 171-179.