The traditional way of scheduling production processes often focuses on profit-driven goals (such as cycle time or material cost) while tending to overlook the negative impacts of manufacturing activities on the environment in the form of carbon emissions and other undesirable by-products. To bridge the gap, this paper investigates an environment-aware production scheduling problem that arises from a typical paint shop in the automobile manufacturing industry. In the studied problem, an objective function is defined to minimize the emission of chemical pollutants caused by the cleaning of painting devices which must be performed each time before a color change occurs. Meanwhile, minimization of due date violations in the downstream assembly shop is also considered because the two shops are interrelated and connected by a limited-capacity buffer. First, we have developed a mixed-integer programming formulation to describe this bi-objective optimization problem. Then, to solve problems of practical size, we have proposed a novel multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) algorithm characterized by problem-specific improvement strategies. A branch-and-bound algorithm is designed for accurately assessing the most promising solutions. Finally, extensive computational experiments have shown that the proposed MOPSO is able to match the solution quality of an exact solver on small instances and outperform two state-of-the-art multi-objective optimizers in literature on large instances with up to 200 cars.
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