Robotic material handler scheduling in flexible manufacturing systems for mass customization

Yumin He, Milton L. Smith, Richard A. Dudek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The scheduling problem of robotic material handlers in flexible manufacturing systems (FMSs) is NP-hard. This paper proposes a state-dependent algorithm for the FMS robot scheduling problem in make-to-order (MTO) environments for mass customization (MC). A mathematical model of the problem is formulated. A computational study of the proposed algorithm is performed. The algorithm is compared to an effective FMS robot scheduling rule, the shortest remaining processing time first (SRPF) rule. The results reveal the effectiveness of the algorithm in increasing the productivity-based measures of the FMS. Practical application insights are discussed. Further research is also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-676
Number of pages6
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Dynamic scheduling
  • Dynamic workload balancing
  • Make-to-order
  • Mass customization
  • Robot scheduling


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