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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Humyun Fuad Rahman, Mukund Nilakantan Janardhanan and Peter Nielsen

Optimizing material handling within the factory is one of the key problems of modern assembly line systems. The purpose of this paper is to focus on simultaneously…

Abstract

Purpose

Optimizing material handling within the factory is one of the key problems of modern assembly line systems. The purpose of this paper is to focus on simultaneously balancing a robotic assembly line and the scheduling of material handling required for the operation of such a system, a topic that has received limited attention in academia. Manufacturing industries focus on full autonomy because of the rapid advancements in different elements of Industry 4.0 such as the internet of things, big data and cloud computing. In smart assembly systems, this autonomy aims at the integration of automated material handling equipment such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to robotic assembly line systems to ensure a reliable and flexible production system.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper tackles the problem of designing a balanced robotic assembly line and the scheduling of AGVs to feed materials to these lines such that the cycle time and total tardiness of the assembly system are minimized. Because of the combination of two well-known complex problems such as line balancing and material handling and a heuristic- and metaheuristic-based integrated decision approach is proposed.

Findings

A detailed computational study demonstrates how an integrated decision approach can serve as an efficient managerial tool in designing/redesigning assembly line systems and support automated transportation infrastructure.

Originality/value

This study is beneficial for production managers in understanding the main decisional steps involved in the designing/redesigning of smart assembly systems and providing guidelines in decision-making. Moreover, this study explores the material distribution scheduling problems in assembly systems, which is not yet comprehensively explored in the literature.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2018

Zixiang Li, Mukund Nilakantan Janardhanan, Peter Nielsen and Qiuhua Tang

Robots are used in assembly lines because of their higher flexibility and lower costs. The purpose of this paper is to develop mathematical models and simulated annealing…

Abstract

Purpose

Robots are used in assembly lines because of their higher flexibility and lower costs. The purpose of this paper is to develop mathematical models and simulated annealing algorithms to solve the robotic assembly line balancing (RALB-II) to minimize the cycle time.

Design/methodology/approach

Four mixed-integer linear programming models are developed and encoded in CPLEX solver to find optimal solutions for small-sized problem instances. Two simulated annealing algorithms, original simulated annealing algorithm and restarted simulated annealing (RSA) algorithm, are proposed to tackle large-sized problems. The restart mechanism in the RSA methodology replaces the incumbent temperature with a new temperature. In addition, the proposed methods use iterative mechanisms for updating cycle time and a new objective to select the solution with fewer critical workstations.

Findings

The comparative study among the tested algorithms and other methods adapted verifies the effectiveness of the proposed methods. The results obtained by these algorithms on the benchmark instances show that 23 new upper bounds out of 32 tested cases are achieved. The RSA algorithm ranks first among the algorithms in the number of updated upper bounds.

Originality/value

Four models are developed for RALBP-II and their performance is evaluated for the first time. An RSA algorithm is developed to solve RALBP-II, where the restart mechanism is developed to replace the incumbent temperature with a new temperature. The proposed methods also use iterative mechanisms and a new objective to select the solution with fewer critical workstations.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Seenu N., Kuppan Chetty R.M., Ramya M.M. and Mukund Nilakantan Janardhanan

This paper aims to present a concise review on the variant state-of-the-art dynamic task allocation strategies. It presents a thorough discussion about the existing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a concise review on the variant state-of-the-art dynamic task allocation strategies. It presents a thorough discussion about the existing dynamic task allocation strategies mainly with respect to the problem application, constraints, objective functions and uncertainty handling methods.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper briefs the introduction of multi-robot dynamic task allocation problem and discloses the challenges that exist in real-world dynamic task allocation problems. Numerous task allocation strategies are discussed in this paper, and it establishes the characteristics features between them in a qualitative manner. This paper also exhibits the existing research gaps and conducive future research directions in dynamic task allocation for multiple mobile robot systems.

Findings

This paper concerns the objective functions, robustness, task allocation time, completion time, and task reallocation feature for performance analysis of different task allocation strategies. It prescribes suitable real-world applications for variant task allocation strategies and identifies the challenges to be resolved in multi-robot task allocation strategies.

Originality/value

This paper provides a comprehensive review of dynamic task allocation strategies and incites the salient research directions to the researchers in multi-robot dynamic task allocation problems. This paper aims to summarize the latest approaches in the application of exploration problems.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Grzegorz Bocewicz, Mukund Nilakantan Janardhanan, Damian Krenczyk and Zbigniew Banaszak

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the reference model of a grid-like supply network that enables formulation of delivery routing and scheduling problems in the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the reference model of a grid-like supply network that enables formulation of delivery routing and scheduling problems in the context of the periodic vehicle routing problem.

Design/methodology/approach

The conditions for seamless (collision-free) synchronization of periodically executed local transport processes presented in this paper guarantee cyclic execution of supply processes, thereby preventing traffic flow congestion.

Findings

Systems that satisfy this characteristic, cyclic deliveries executed along supply chains are given and what is sought is the number of vehicles needed to operate the local transport processes in order to ensure delivery from and to specific loading/unloading points on given dates. Determination of sufficient conditions guaranteeing the existence of feasible solutions that satisfy these constraints makes it possible to solve the considered class of problems online.

Practical implications

The computer experiments reported in this paper show the possibilities of practical application of the proposed approach in the construction of decision support systems for food supply chain management.

Originality/value

The aim of the present work is to develop a methodology for the synthesis of regularly structured supply networks that would ensure fixed cyclic execution of local transport processes. The proposed methodology, which implements sufficient conditions for the synchronization of local cyclic processes, allows one to develop a method for rapid prototyping of supply processes that satisfies the time windows constraints given.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 117 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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