Title: Scheduling in robotic cells with time window constraints

Authors: Wassim Zahrouni; Hichem Kamoun

Addresses: College of Business Administration, Northern Border University, P.O. Box 1321, Arar, 91431, Saudi Arabia; FSEG Nabeul, University of Carthage, Hammamet Street 8000, Nabeul, Tunisia ' MODILS Laboratory, FSEG Sfax, University of Sfax, Route de l'Aérodrome, Km 4, BP-1088, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia

Abstract: This paper addresses the cyclic scheduling problem arising in two and three-machine robotic cells with time window constraints where multiple part-types are produced. Due to its complexity, very few studies have tackled the problem. Previous researches were generally limited to single or at most to two part-types where the associated part sequencing problem vanishes since the production is cyclic. We proved that the two-machine problem could be apprehended as a travelling salesman problem. For the three-machine case, we proposed a heuristic aimed at finding the sequence of robot activities and the sequence of parts that jointly minimises the cycle time in a special class of cycles. A lower bound is also provided, and computational results are reported. [Received: 18 October 2018; Revised: 22 January 2020; Accepted: 14 March 2020]

Keywords: hoist scheduling problem; HSP; robotic cells; time window constraints; cyclic scheduling; sequencing.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2021.114001

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2021 Vol.15 No.2, pp.206 - 225

Published online: 06 Apr 2021 *

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