Efficient planning of the section building process is important for European shipyards since delays in this process can disrupt the on-time delivery of a ship. Automatically generating production schedules of the section building process can result in higher quality schedules compared to those created manually. Recently, the production processes of European shipyards have shifted to focus heavily on outsourcing and outfitting, yet existing automatic planning methods for section building fail to sufficiently consider these factors. This paper develops a mathematical model of the section building process which includes the effects of outfitting and outsourcing. The objective of this model is to simultaneously minimise the fluctuations in workload and the number of outsourced man-hours. The mathematical model was solved by implementing the non-dominated sorting generic algorithm-II (NSGA-II) using a custom heuristic as the fitness function. Due to the multi-objective nature of the problem definition and solution approach, a Pareto front of optimal solutions is created instead of a single, best solution. A test case showed that gains in both objectives are achievable compared to the planning developed manually. Implementing the Section Building Planning methodology developed in this paper could potentially improve the efficiency and controllability of the overall shipbuilding process.
- production planning
- genetic algorithms