Scheduling Multiple Parts in a Robotic Cell Served by a Dual-Gripper Robot

Operations Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 65-82, January-February 2004

50 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2008 Last revised: 5 Aug 2015

See all articles by Chelliah Sriskandarajah

Chelliah Sriskandarajah

Texas A&M University

Inna Drobouchevitch

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Suresh Sethi

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management

Ramaswamy Chandrashekaran

University of Texas at Dallas - Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

Date Written: November 2002

Abstract

A robotic cell - manufacturing system widely used in industry - contains two or more robot-served machines, repetitively producing a number of part types. In this paper, we consider scheduling of operations in a bufferless dual-gripper robotic cell processing multiple part types. The processing constraints specify the cell to be a flowshop. The objective is to determine the robot move sequence and the sequence in which parts are to be processed so as to maximize the long-run average throughput rate for repetitive production of parts. We provide a framework to study the problem, and address the issues of problem complexity and solvability. Focusing on a particular class of robot move sequences, we identify all potentially optimal robot move sequences for the part-sequencing problem in a two-machine dual-gripper robot cell. In the case when the gripper switching time is sufficiently small, we specify the best robot move sequence in the class. We prove the problem of finding an optimal part sequence to be strongly NP-hard, even when the robot move sequence is specified. We provide a heuristic approach to solve the general two-machine problem and evaluate its performance on the set of randomly generated problem instances. We perform computations to estimate the productivity gain of using a dual-gripper robot in place of a single-gripper robot. Finally, we extend our results for the two-machine cell to solve an m-machine problem.

Keywords: Scheduling, Robotic cells, Cyclic production, 1-unit cycles, Sequencing robot moves, Computational complexity, NP-hard

JEL Classification: M11, C61

Suggested Citation

Sriskandarajah, Chelliah and Drobouchevitch, Inna and Sethi, Suresh and Chandrashekaran, Ramaswamy, Scheduling Multiple Parts in a Robotic Cell Served by a Dual-Gripper Robot (November 2002). Operations Research, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 65-82, January-February 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1126092 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1126092

Chelliah Sriskandarajah

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
77843-3137

Inna Drobouchevitch

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Suresh Sethi (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management ( email )

800 W. Campbell Road, SM30
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
United States

Ramaswamy Chandrashekaran

University of Texas at Dallas - Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science ( email )

Richardson, TX
United States

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