Computational evaluation of a novel approach to process planning for circuit card assembly on dual head placement machines
Chowdhury, Nilanjan Dutta
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Dual head placement machines are commonly used in industry for placing components on circuit cards with great speed and accuracy. This thesis evaluates a novel approach for prescribing process plans for circuit card assembly on dual head placement machines. Process planning involves assigning component types to heads and to feeder slots associated with each head and prescribing appropriate sequences of picking, placing and nozzle-changing steps. The approach decomposes these decisions into four inter-related problems: P1, P2, P3 and P4. This thesis reviews this approach; presents a new heuristic to address P1; a method to facilitate P2 and P3 solutions; a method to control nozzle changes in P4; tests approaches to P1, P2, P3 and P4; and presents a thorough analysis of computational results to evaluate the efficacy of the approach which aims to balance workloads on machine heads to maximize assembly line throughput.