Abstract The work presented here deals with short-term scheduling in the chemical industry. It proposes an alternative model to STN and RTN in the form of a MILP formulation which describes the plant at a lower level of detail. The aim is to reduce the complexity of the model and thus to increase the solution efficiency. The main simplification compared to STN/RTN is the that product stocks and mass balance constraints are ignored because discrete fixed-size batches are assumed. The proposed MILP formulation is used for the scheduling of a real-life example provided by a customer of Axxom, a lacquer production in a pipeless plant. Three types of recipes that involve cycles, rigid timing constraints between individual operations, and parallel allocations of stationary and mobile units are considered. Several dozens of production orders of different lacquer types in various colors with hundreds of operations have to be scheduled. A special solution procedure combines the solution of the MILP problem in two separate steps with three different heuristics which further reduce the model complexity. Several problem instances of the lacquer production are solved to demonstrate the successful application.