On Throughput Maximization in Constant Travel-Time Robotic Cells Academic Article uri icon


  • We consider the problem of scheduling operations in bufferless 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 rate. The robot can be moved in simple cycles that produce one unit or, in more complicated cycles, that produce multiple units. Because one-unit cycles are the easiest to understand, implement, and control, they are widely used in industry. We analyze one-unit cycles for a class of robotic cells called constant travel-time robotic cells. We complete a structural analysis of the class of one-unit cycles and obtain a polynomial time algorithm for finding an optimal one-unit cycle. Constant travel-time robotic cells are used in real manufacturing operations that the authors have encountered during their interactions with companies. The results and the analysis in this paper offer practitioners (i) a tool to experiment with and study the design of a proposed robotic cell during a prototyping exercise, (ii) a lower bound on the throughput of a robotic cell to help them make an informed assessment of the ultimate productivity level, and (iii) a benchmark throughput level (for comparison purposes) for robotic cells whose operations differ slightly from those discussed in this paper.

published proceedings

  • Manufacturing & Service Operations Management

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Dawande, M., Sriskandarajah, C., & Sethi, S.

citation count

  • 89

complete list of authors

  • Dawande, Milind||Sriskandarajah, Chelliah||Sethi, Suresh

publication date

  • October 2002