Approximations to Optimal K-Unit Cycles for Single-Gripper and Dual-Gripper Robotic Cells

Production and Operations Management, Vol. 17, No. 5, September-October 2008

Mays Business School Research Paper No. 2015-22

14 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2015  

Neil Geismar

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School

Lap Mui Ann Chan

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Milind Dawande

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Information Systems & Operations Management

Chelliah Sriskandarajah

Texas A&M University

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

We consider the problem of scheduling operations in bufferless robotic cells that produce identical parts using either single-gripper or dual-gripper robots. The objective is to find a cyclic sequence of robot moves that minimizes the long-run average time to produce a part or, equivalently, maximizes the throughput. Obtaining an efficient algorithm for an optimum k-unit cyclic solution (k ≥ 1) has been a longstanding open problem.

For both single-gripper and dual-gripper cells, the approximation algorithms in this paper provide the bestknown performance guarantees (obtainable in polynomial time) for an optimal cyclic solution. We provide two algorithms that have a running time linear in the number of machines: for single-gripper cells (respectively, dual-gripper cells), the performance guarantee is 9/7 (respectively, 3/2). The domain considered is free-pickup cells with constant intermachine travel time. Our structural analysis is an important step towardr esolving the complexity status of finding an optimal cyclic solution in either a single-gripper or a dual-gripper cell. We also identify optimal cyclic solutions for a variety of special cases. Our analysis provides production managers valuable insights into the schedules that maximize productivity for both single-gripper and dual-gripper cells for any combination of processing requirements andphysical parameters.

Keywords: robotic cells; dual-gripper robots; manufacturing; cyclic solutions; approximation algorithms

Suggested Citation

Geismar, Neil and Chan, Lap Mui Ann and Dawande, Milind and Sriskandarajah, Chelliah, Approximations to Optimal K-Unit Cycles for Single-Gripper and Dual-Gripper Robotic Cells (2008). Production and Operations Management, Vol. 17, No. 5, September-October 2008; Mays Business School Research Paper No. 2015-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2558183

Neil Geismar (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School ( email )

Wehner 401Q, MS 4353
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Lap Mui Ann Chan

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University ( email )

Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Milind Dawande

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Information Systems & Operations Management ( email )

P.O. Box 830688
Richardson, TX 75083-0688
United States

Chelliah Sriskandarajah

Texas A&M University ( email )

77843

Paper statistics

Downloads
8
Abstract Views
108