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This paper introduces the virtual production line (VPL) concept, which initiates a new method to model the shop floor from both control and management point of view. Heuristic algorithms are presented to dynamically configure a large system into many VPLs, which ensure the line balance and efficiency, and accurately predicate the completion time for each work-order. The proposed methodology and algorithms are demonstrated through a simplified back-end semiconductor manufacturing system.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2003