Notes on feasibility and optimality conditions of small-scale multifunction robotic cell scheduling problems with pickup restrictions

Mehdi Foumani, Indra Gunawan, Kate Amanda Smith-Miles, Mahrous Yousef Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Optimization of robotic workcells is a growing concern in automated manufacturing systems. This study develops a methodology to maximize the production rate of a multifunction robot (MFR) operating within a rotationally arranged robotic cell. An MFR is able to perform additional special operations while in transit between transferring parts from adjacent processing stages. Considering the free-pickup scenario, the cycle time formulas are initially developed for small-scale cells where an MFR interacts with either two or three machines. A methodology for finding the optimality regions of all possible permutations is presented. The results are then extended to the no-wait pickup scenario in which all parts must be processed from the input hopper to the output hopper, without any interruption either on or between machines. This analysis enables insightful evaluation of the productivity improvements of MFRs in real-life robotized workcells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821 - 829
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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