Task Optimization and Workforce Scheduling
The Methods Engineering Department at Bombardier Aerospace in Toronto faces several challenges when planning their production layout and schedules for the Q400 commercial aircraft. The major issues include the precedence relationships between tasks, operator skill level, labour union regulations, physical layout of the working zones, and target cycle time.
The main objectives of this project are to optimize the task sequences for three subassemblies used to produce Q400; and to build production schedules that minimize the total labour cost. Currently, the Methods Engineering Department plans the schedules of tasks and operators manually. We propose to use OR tools, namely simulation and optimization, to formally model and optimize the scheduling problems. The simulation models will provide a tool to visualize the production operation and simulate the effect of changing parameters. The optimization models will provide a decision aiding tool to determine the best schedules and to analyze their robustness.