An analysis of cyclic scheduling problems in robot centered cells
The focus of this study is a robot centered cell consisting of m computer numerical control (CNC) machines producing identical parts. Two pure cycles are singled out and further investigated as prominent cycles in minimizing the cycle time. It has been shown that these two cycles jointly dominate the rest of the pure cycles for a wide range of processing time values. For the remaining region, the worst case performances of these pure cycles are established. The special case of 3-machines is studied extensively in order to provide further insight for the more general case. The situation where the processing times are controllable is analyzed. The proposed pure cycles also dominate the rest when the cycle time and total manufacturing cost objectives are considered simultaneously from a bicriteria optimization point of view. Moreover, they also dominate all of the pure cycles in in-line robotic cells. Finally, the efficient frontier of the 3-machine case with controllable processing times is depicted as an example.