Dr. Jaime CERDA
Prof. Titular DE, Dpto. de Ing. Qca., Univ. Nac. del Litoral
Inv. Principal, INTEC (UNL-CONICET)
Santa Fé, ARGENTINA
ABSTRACT: Scheduling product batches in pipelines is a very complex task with many constraints to be considered. Several papers have been published on the subject during the last decade. However, the proposed model-based scheduling techniques were applied to examples featuring short time horizons and a unique due-date for all deliveries at the horizon end. Pipeline operators generally use a recurring monthly schedule involving several periods, with product demands to be satisfied at the end of each period. Because of the pipeline time delay, most of the market demands over short horizons are fulfilled through inventories already available at depot tanks or in pipeline transit. Therefore, the scheduled pumping runs have nothing to do with future product demands at distribution terminals and are aimed at simply moving product slugs along the duct. To overcome such drawbacks of current approaches, this work presents an efficient MILP continuous framework for the dynamic scheduling of pipelines over a multiperiod rolling horizon. The approach has been successfully applied to a real-world pipeline scheduling problem involving the transportation of four products to five destinations over a rolling horizon always comprising four one-week periods.