Scheduling robotic cells served by a dual-arm robot
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This article assesses the benefits of implementing a dual-arm robot in a flow shop manufacturing cell. Such a robot has the ability to tend (unload or load) to two adjacent machines simultaneously. This significantly changes the analysis required to find sequences of robot actions that maximize a cell's throughput. For cells processing identical parts, optimal sequences are identified for two- and three-machine cells and also structural results are derived for cells with an arbitrary number of machines. Cells processing different part-types are fully analyzed for the case of two-machine cells. For each case the productivity of single-arm and dual-arm robotic cells is compared. Copyright 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.