Part selection and machine loading are two major problems in the production planning phase of the flexible manufacturing systems. The problems have a combinatorial structure and usually, in practice, it is difficult to deal with this kind of problems using a mathematical programming model. In this paper, the above problems are formulated as a mixed-integer programming model which is handled sequentially and solved by a diversification-strategy-added version of the hybrid tabu search/simulated annealing algorithm of Zhang et al. (Comput Oper Res 35:282-294, 2008) presented in 2008. The performance of the algorithm is tested on eight random-generated problems with different sizes. The results are compared with those of the mathematical programming model, the original version of Zhang et al.'s (Comput Oper Res 35:282-294, 2008) algorithm and also a tabu search algorithm developed earlier by the authors.