Increasing throughput for a class of two-machine robotic cells served by a multifunction robot

Mehdi Foumani, Indra Gunawan, Kate Smith-Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The multifunction robotic cell scheduling problem has been recently studied in the literature. The main assumption in the pertaining literature is that a multifunction robot performs an operation on the part during any loaded move between two adjacent processing stages. For a two-machine cell, these stages are the input hopper, the first machine, the second machine and the output hopper. Consequently, the multifunction robot performs three operations with fixed processing times. In contrast, we assume a class of two-machine cells where none of the processing times of three operations are fixed. However, their summation is fixed and equivalent to the processing time of the unique operation. The processing mode of the unique operation performed by the multifunction robot is "stop resume." Thus, regardless of the gap interrupts during operations by two machines, the robot continues performing the unique operation of the part when it is reloaded to the robot without any loss of time. The focus lies on n-unit cycles due to their popularity. It is proven one-unit cycles have better performance for the problem under study. The cycle time of one-unit cycles are obtained and optimality conditions are determined for different pickup criteria: free, interval, and no-wait.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2504478
Pages (from-to)1150-1159
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Cyclic production
  • Multifunction robot
  • Scheduling
  • Stop resume

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