Throughput Optimization in Constant Travel‐Time Dual Gripper Robotic Cells with Parallel Machines
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Constant travel-time robotic cells with a single gripper robot and with one or more machines at each processing stage have been studied in the literature. By contrast, cells with a dual gripper robot, although more productive, have so far received scant attention, perhaps due to their inherent complexity. We consider the problem of scheduling operations in dual gripper robotic cells that produce identical parts. The objective is to find a cyclic sequence of robot moves that minimizes the long-run average time to produce a part or, equivalently, maximizes the throughput. We provide a structural analysis of cells with one or more machines per processing stage to obtain first a lower bound on the throughput and, subsequently, an optimal solution under conditions that are common in practice. We illustrate our analysis on two cells implemented at a semiconductor equipment manufacturer and offer managerial insights for assessing the potential productivity gains from the use of dual gripper robots. © 2006 Production and Operations Management Society.
author list (cited authors)
Geismar, H. N., Dawande, M., & Sriskandarajah, C.
complete list of authors
Geismar, H Neil||Dawande, Milind||Sriskandarajah, Chelliah