Optimised scheduling in human–robot collaboration–a use case in the assembly of printed circuit boards.

Publikation aus Digital
Connected Computing

Karin Bogner, Ulrich Pferschy, Roland Unterberger, Herwig Zeiner

International Journal of Production Research, 56(16), 5522-5540, 8/2018


Advances in the technologies of sensors and lightweight robots increasingly enable direct physical interaction between humans and robots. This so-called human–robot collaboration is supposed to offer more flexibility in production processes, as opposed to fully automated processes. The aim of this contribution is to describe an integer linear programming model which optimally coordinates the distribution of tasks between humans and robots in a realistic production process of printed circuit boards (PCBs), where the objective is to minimise the completion time of a board. In addition, we discuss an extended case wherein a whole set of different boards is to be assembled, which is highly relevant for low volume production with a high degree of customisation. After stating an extended integer linear programming (ILP) formulation, we propose two practical approaches for solving the computationally more complex second scenario: an order-based heuristic approach and a matheuristic applying a truncated variant of the ILP model with different sequencing strategies. The computational evaluation based on a real-world use case from the PCB industry underlines the efficacy of the matheuristic approach for obtaining a good overall makespan.

Keywords: human–robot collaboration, multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem, ILP, matheuristic, PCB assembly