Scheduling for Manufacturing Applications in Real-Time (SMART)

This project will demonstrate the benefits of real-time closed-loop production scheduling for large-scale as well as small- and medium-sized manufacturers.


Production-schedule optimization promises increased efficiency by eliminating unnecessary idle time on shop floors. But adaptation of scheduling tools usually requires large customization and integration efforts while the return-on-investment depends on the individual application and is difficult to quantify upfront. That investment uncertainty inhibits the widespread use of this technology.

Proposed Solution

The team will develop and demonstrate a scheduling framework that reduces adaptation requirements and lowers initial investment costs. The team will also compare and analyze scheduling use-cases, coming up with indicators that can be used for an upfront assessment of the expected effectiveness of schedule optimization.

The return-on-investment for the two closed-loop production scheduling use-cases will be detailed in a case study. A landscape assessment and scheduling guidebook will provide a general overview of scheduling applications and the means for upfront assessment.


Optimized production schedules can increase manufacturers’ competitiveness, especially in high-wage countries like the United States. This project will boost the application of production schedule optimization by lowering the installation threshold and providing a way to do an upfront assessment of its effectiveness for a given shop floor.