16. June 2020

OptiProd Is Picking Up Speed: Optimal Production Scheduling in Sight

OptiProd Is Picking Up Speed: Optimal Production Scheduling in Sight

In the OptiProd.NRW research project, ICT experts from INOSIM and scientists from the Process Dynamics and Operations Group (DYN) at TU Dortmund University, together with Bayer AG, a leading company of the process industry in NRW, are developing a new software system that employs state-of-the-art methods of mathematical optimization to automatically calculate optimal production schedules.

Significant Progress by all Partners

In June 2020, the project partners held their second consortium meeting, due to Covid-19, via online conference. They presented the progress made during the first six project months, developed new ideas, and planned the next steps in the development of an effective software tool for optimal production planning based on detailed INOSIM simulation models.

Partner Bayer has finalized the definition and documentation of the central project case study, an industrial formulation process, that will be used to validate and demonstrate the OptiProd.NRW software system, thus ensuring the industrial relevance and applicability of the project work.

Partner TU Dortmund University has developed an initial prototype for the meta-heuristic optimization with integrated systematic use of production scheduling heuristics, which has successfully been demonstrated on a simple example process. Hereby, the experienced researchers of partner TU Dortmund University are supported by Robin Ehrhardt. In his Master thesis project, he is developing a new approach for optimal production scheduling with INOSIM models applied to a pipeless production plant in lab scale.

INOSIM develops software interface

Project partner INOSIM is making significant progress as well. Over the last months, the INOSIM simulation software has been extended with a new interface for the integration of external software interfaces. This enables the project partners to efficiently integrate their software prototypes with the core simulation software. In addition, INOSIM has started the development of a software component that will enable massively parallel simulation directly within INOSIM Software – a key requirement for the efficient computation of optimal production plans for a realistic case study with a high degree of complexity.

Outlook for the next months

All project partners are looking forward to continuing their work with the same level of enthusiasm. Over the next months, the partners will develop detailed simulation models of the industrial case study. They plan to create a first comprehensive prototype of the OptiProd.NRW software system to be demonstrated on a simplified instance of the industrial case study towards the end of 2020. We will report on the further progress of the project at this point.

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