Bicriteria robotic cell scheduling
Journal of Scheduling
457 - 473
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This paper considers the scheduling problems arising in two- and three-machine manufacturing cells configured in a flowshop which repeatedly produces one type of product and where transportation of the parts between the machines is performed by a robot. The cycle time of the cell is affected by the robot move sequence as well as the processing times of the parts on the machines. For highly flexible CNC machines, the processing times can be changed by altering the machining conditions at the expense of increasing the manufacturing cost. As a result, we try to find the robot move sequence as well as the processing times of the parts on each machine that not only minimize the cycle time but, for the first time in robotic cell scheduling literature, also minimize the manufacturing cost. For each 1-unit cycle in two- and three-machine cells, we determine the efficient set of processing time vectors such that no other processing time vector gives both a smaller cycle time and a smaller cost value. We also compare these cycles with each other to determine the sufficient conditions under which each of the cycles dominates the rest. Finally, we show how different assumptions on cost structures affect the results.