Robots are being used more and more extensively as material-handling systems for automated manufacturing systems. This is especially true for dual-gripper robots whose in-process buffer (the robot's second gripper) constitutes a further element of flexibility. When the number of stations to be served is high and the set of activities the robot must execute is great, the system throughput may depend on robot capability rather than on process times. In such conditions, the use of several robots leads to an increase in system productivity. Obviously, the design and the management of such a handling system becomes more complex: the minimum number of robots required, the work stations to be served by each of them and the robot move cycles must be all determined so as to minimize the cycle time of a multi-robot serial system. Since the aim of minimizing the cycle time could lead to a non-univocal configuration, a secondary objective may be pursued. To this aim, the classic case of a single dual-gripper robotic cell is preliminarily revisited, using a practical rather than a theoretical approach, to show that, under the conditions of minimum cycle time, it is possible to take into account both the reduction of the WIP and that of the length of the transitory periods.
|Numero di pagine||14|
|Rivista||International Journal of Production Research|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2006|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering