Optimising the Slab Yard Planning and Crane Scheduling Problem using a two-stage heuristic

Anders Dohn Hansen, Jens Clausen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    In this paper, we present the Slab Yard Planning and Crane Scheduling Problem. The problem has its origin in steel production facilities with a large throughput. A slab yard is used as a buffer for slabs that are needed in the upcoming production. Slabs are transported by cranes and the problem considered here is concerned with the generation of schedules for these cranes. The problem is decomposed and modeled in two parts, namely a planning problem and a scheduling problem. In the planning problem, a set of crane operations is created to take the yard from its current state to a desidered goal state. In the scheduling problem, an exact schedule for the crane is generated, where each operation is assigned to a crane and is given a specific time of initiation. For both models, a thorough description of the modeling details is given along with a specification of objective criteria. Preliminary tests are run on a generic setup with simulated data. The test results are very promising. The production delays are reduced significantly in the new solutions compared with the corresponding delays observed in a simulation of manual planning.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
    Issue number15
    Pages (from-to)4585 - 4608
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • scheduling
    • artificial intelligence
    • routing
    • dynamic programming
    • operational research
    • combinatorial optimisation
    • optimisation


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