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Scheduling job operations in an automatic assembly line

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2 Author(s)
K. G. Shin ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Q. Zheng

The problem of scheduling job operations in an automatic assembly line used for manufacturing a small to medium volume of mixed workparts is addressed. An assembly line model is discussed. This model differs from the classical flow shop model in the following three aspects: there are no buffers at machine stations; constraints associated with the material transport system are included; and, for each batch of production, workparts are distinguished in groups, rather than individually. An optimal algorithm that requires very little computation is derived first by minimizing the total finish time for two machine assembly lines. This result is then generalized to the problem of scheduling an assembly line with m>2 machines processing single-operation jobs. In order to reduce the computational complexity of the latter problem, heuristic algorithms are proposed and shown to work quite well for all the cases considered. A heuristic solution to the problem of scheduling an assembly line with m>2 machines processing multioperation jobs is discussed

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 3 )