The dyeing of textile materials is the most critical process in cloth production because of the strict technological requirements. In addition to the technical aspect, there have been increasing concerns over how to minimize the negative environmental impact of the dyeing industry. The emissions of pollutants are mainly caused by frequent cleaning operations which are necessary for initializing the dyeing equipment, as well as idled production capacity which leads to discharge of unconsumed chemicals. Motivated by these facts, we propose a methodology to reduce the pollutant emissions by means of systematic production scheduling. Firstly, we build a three-objective scheduling model that incorporates both the traditional tardiness objective and the environmentally-related objectives. A mixed-integer programming formulation is also provided to accurately define the problem. Then, we present a novel solution method for the sustainable scheduling problem, namely, a multi-objective genetic algorithm with tabu-enhanced iterated greedy local search strategy (MOGA-TIG). Finally, we conduct extensive computational experiments to investigate the actual performance of the MOGA-TIG. Based on a fair comparison with two state-of-the-art multi-objective optimizers, it is concluded that the MOGA-TIG is able to achieve satisfactory solution quality within tight computational time budget for the studied scheduling problem.
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