The purpose of this paper is to develop optimal tool partitioning policies and strip sequencing strategies for a class of flexible manufacturing problems. The problems under consideration involve a large number of operations to be performed by a series of tools on a two-dimensional object. For example, these operations could consist of drilling holes in a metallic sheet. Tools are arranged in a carousel or along a tool bar according to a predetermined sequence. Operations are performed by repeatedly moving the sheet to bring the hole locations under the tool. During each pass, as all operations involving a series of consecutive tools are executed, two main problems are to be solved: 1) how to move the sheet during each pass; 2) how to partition th etools into blocks of consecutive tools. A strip strategy is used to move the sheet. Given this policy, optimal strip widths and tool partitioning policies are determined jointly. Analytical solutions are derived under two metrics corresponding to different operating modes. A numerical example is provided.
Published May 1995 , 22 pages
This cahier was revised in May 1997