Cyclic scheduling of a 2-machine robotic cell with tooling constraints
European Journal of Operational Research
777 - 796
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In this study, we deal with the robotic cell scheduling problem with two machines and identical parts. In an ideal FMS, CNC machines are capable of performing all the required operations as long as the required tools are stored in their tool magazines. However, this assumption may be unrealistic at times since the tool magazines have limited capacity and in many practical instances the required number of tools exceeds this capacity. In this respect, our study assumes that some operations can only be processed on the first machine while some others can only be processed on the second machine due to tooling constraints. Remaining operations can be processed on either machine. The problem is to find the allocation of the remaining operations to the machines and the optimal robot move cycle that jointly minimize the cycle time. We prove that the optimal solution is either a 1-unit or a 2-unit robot move cycle and we present the regions of optimality. Finally, a sensitivity analysis on the results is conducted.