Title: Infield logistics planning for crop-harvesting operations
Authors: Ali, Osman ×
Verlinden, Bart
Van Oudheusden, Dirk #
Issue Date: 29-Jan-2009
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Series Title: Engineering Optimization vol:41 issue:2 pages:183-197
Abstract: Crop-harvesting operations are typically carried out with combine harvesters. The harvested product is
transferred to one or more tractors every time the combine harvester’s storage capacity is reached. The
efficiency of the process can be significantly improved by computing optimal routes and interactions
for the harvest vehicles in the field. Furthermore, an automated method for generating itineraries for
the harvest vehicles facilitates the planning for autonomous agricultural vehicles. The infield logistics
problem is formulated as an integer linear programming vehicle routing problem with additional turn
penalty constraints, but, because of the high number of decision variables, it is not possible to solve
cases of realistic field size. The solution time of the infield logistics problem is considerably reduced by
reformulating it as a modified minimum-cost network flowproblem. This specific structure allows the exact
solution of intermediate-size planning problems in a much shorter time period. The result of solving the
infield logistics problem with the proposed modelling approaches is a set of itineraries (‘tours’), covering
the entire field. Each ‘tour’ is characterized by the combine harvester’s start and end points and the positions
where the combine harvester needs to be unloaded. The planning models minimize non-productivity (i.e. the
time when a combine harvester travels in a field without harvesting). The results indicate that coordination
between combine harvesters and tractors is also improved.
ISSN: 0305-215X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Industrial Management / Traffic & Infrastructure
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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