This project is supported by the National High Technology Development Pro gram of China under Grant No.863-306-ZD11-01-9 (国家863高科技项目基金).
The multiple hoist schedule problem is a critical issue in the design and contro l of many manufacturing processes. When the hoist number and station number are very large, finding optimal schedule is very hard. In this paper, the mathematic al model of multiple hoist schedule problem is discussed and a heuristic method about it is proposed by use of simulated annealing. A large number of examples o f random case indicate that this heuristic method is very useful, and satisfacto ry solution can be obtained with small amount of computation.