A scheduling problem in blocking hybrid flow shop robotic cells with multiple robots

Atabak Elmi, Seyda Topaloglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the robotic scheduling problem in blocking hybrid flow shop cells that consider multiple part types, unrelated parallel machines, multiple robots and machine eligibility constraints. Initially, a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model is proposed to minimize the makespan for this problem. Due to the complexity of the model, a simulated annealing (SA) based solution approach is developed for its solution. To increase the efficiency of the SA algorithm, a new neighborhood structure based on block properties is applied. The performance of the proposed SA is assessed over a set of randomly generated instances. The computational results demonstrate that the SA algorithm is effective with the employed neighborhood structure. Additionally, this study shows that the appropriate number of robots depends on the sequence of processing operations to be performed at each stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2543-2555
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Blocking
  • Hybrid flow shop
  • Multiple robots
  • Robotic cell
  • Simulated Annealing

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