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About

Rui Rebelo has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Faculty Lusíada, Famalicão (1994). His research interests include balancing, scheduling and development of new production systems.

His work comprehends different cases from development of decision support tools to industrial robotics. Since May 1995 until now he is a Senior Researcher in the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Unit (UESP) of INESC-Porto, Project Leader, actively participating in the institutions’ Research and Development (R&D) activities. He has participated in several R&D projects, including: “CEC-made-shoe: Custom, Environment and Comfort made shoe”, “EUROShoE – extended user oriented shoe enterprise“, “CICLOP - Computerised and integrated closing operations”, “FIT4U - Framework of Integrated Technologies for User Centred Products (2 European patents) 

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071
Publications

2021

Using variable neighbourhood descent and genetic algorithms for sequencing mixed-model assembly systems in the footwear industry

Authors
Sadeghi, P; Rebelo, RD; Ferreira, JS;

Publication
Operations Research Perspectives

Abstract
This paper addresses a new Mixed-model Assembly Line Sequencing Problem in the Footwear industry. This problem emerges in a large company, which benefits from advanced automated stitching systems. However, these systems need to be managed and optimised. Operators with varied abilities operate machines of various types, placed throughout the stitching lines. In different quantities, the components of the various shoe models, placed in boxes, move along the lines in either direction. The work assumes that the associated balancing problems have already been solved, thus solely concentrating on the sequencing procedures to minimise the makespan. An optimisation model is presented, but it has just been useful to structure the problems and test small instances due to the practical problems’ complexity and dimension. Consequently, two methods were developed, one based on Variable Neighbourhood Descent, named VND-MSeq, and the other based on Genetic Algorithms, referred to as GA-MSeq. Computational results are included, referring to diverse instances and real large-size problems. These results allow for a comparison of the novel methods and to ascertain their effectiveness. We obtained better solutions than those available in the company. © 2021 The Authors

2021

Scheduling of Assembly Systems in the Footwear Industry

Authors
Basto J.; Ferreira J.S.; Rebelo R.D.;

Publication
Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management

Abstract
In the last years, the paradigm of the Portuguese footwear industry has improved drastically to become one of the main world players. In fact, a lot has changed, from low-cost mass production to serving clients consisting of small retail chains, where orders are small and models are varied. In order to deal with such modifications, the footwear industry started investing in technological solutions. The industrial case presented in this paper fits that purpose. The goal is to contribute to the solution of complex scheduling problems arising in the new mixed-model flexible automatic stitching systems of an important footwear factory. The project starts by building an optimization model. Although the model has its own usefulness, the CPLEX program is only capable of reaching optimal solutions for small problem instances. Therefore, a recent metaheuristic, the Imperialist Competitive Algorithm (ICA), has been chosen to tackle larger problems. The ICA is capable of finding optimal results for smaller instances and achieving adequate solutions for real problems in short periods of time. Moreover, ICA improves the results obtained so far by the method currently used in the factory.

2020

Exploring the Linkages Between the Internet of Things and Planning and Control Systems in Industrial Applications

Authors
Soares, R; Marques, A; Gomes, R; Guardão, L; Hernández, E; Rebelo, R;

Publication
Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering - Progress in Digital and Physical Manufacturing

Abstract

2020

Implementing RAMI4.0 in Production - A Multi-case Study

Authors
Hernández, E; Senna, P; Silva, D; Rebelo, R; Barros, AC; Toscano, C;

Publication
Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering - Progress in Digital and Physical Manufacturing

Abstract

2018

Balancing mixed-model assembly systems in the footwear industry with a variable neighbourhood descent method

Authors
Sadeghi, P; Rebelo, RD; Ferreira, JS;

Publication
COMPUTERS & INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

Abstract
This paper addresses new Mixed-model Assembly Line Balancing Problems (MALBP) in a real industrial context, the stitching systems of a footwear company. The work is part of large ongoing projects with this industry, and the main purposes are minimising the number of required workstations and smoothing the operators' workload. The company has invested in new flexible automated assembly systems, which accommodate dozens of workstations and many moving boxes. Footwear components are inside boxes (with various quantities) which can move from the warehouses to a convenient workstation or between any workstations (in any order). This is a significant and distinct feature of the MALBP, together with the fact that the assignment of different skilled operators and machines is achieved simultaneously. An optimisation model is developed, in part to facilitate the understanding of the situation and to solve small-size instances. Due to the complexity of the problems, we had to devise an approximate method, based on the Variable Neighbourhood Descent (VND) metaheuristic and integrating an adaptation of the Ranked Positional Weighted (RPW) method. The adapted RPW method is used to create initial feasible solutions, while preassigning special operators and machines. After choosing good initial solutions, VND is applied to improve their quality. The new contributed method, named as RPW-VNDbal, is tested with medium and large instances, in two distinct stitching systems. A Lower Bound of the objective function and Simulation contribute to evaluate the solutions and their practicability. The results implemented by the project team, show that the RPW-VNDbal method is fast enough and offers better solutions than those implemented by the experienced operation managers of the company.