An evaluation of order releasing and due date assignment heuristics in a cellular manufacturing system

Farzad Mahmoodi, Kevin J. Dooley, Patrick J. Starr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The presence of an order release function, where dispatchers can release or hold jobs from the first work center, has yielded beneficial results in practice but inconsistent results in research. Previous research results contradict the notion that shop floor information should be used to trigger the release mechanism. At the same time, such information has been effectively used to assign realistic due dates to released jobs. This study extends previous work on order releasing and due date assignment by providing a controlled comparison of three order releasing and two due date assignment heuristics in conjunction with six scheduling heuristics in a cellular manufacturing environment. Results show that controlled release deteriorates flow time, lateness, and tardiness performance and is inferior to both immediate and interval release. Controlled release appears to work best in situations of low load and tight due dates. Analysis of different dispatching rules shows the relative performance remains unchanged by the presence of different order release mechanisms. Comparisons of internally and externally set due date mechanisms indicate simpler, non-due date oriented heuristics demonstrate as good a performance as the more complex due date oriented heuristics when shop information is utilized to assign job due dates. Finally, results indicate that in a manufacturing cell, the use of shop floor information is effective for due date assignment, but is not worthwhile for order releasing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-573
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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