Pure cycles in flexible robotic cells

Hakan Gultekin, Oya Ekin Karasan, M. Selim Akturk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, an m-machine flexible robotic manufacturing cell consisting of CNC machines is considered. The flexibility of the machines leads to a new class of robot move cycles called the pure cycles. We first model the problem of determining the best pure cycle in an m-machine cell as a special travelling salesman problem in which the distance matrix consists of decision variables as well as parameters. We focus on two specific cycles among the huge class of pure cycles. We prove that, in most of the regions, either one of these two cycles is optimal. For the remaining regions we derive worst case performances of these cycles. We also prove that the set of pure cycles dominates the flowshop-type robot move cycles considered in the literature. As a design problem, we consider the number of machines in a cell as a decision variable. We determine the optimal number of machines that minimizes the cycle time for given cell parameters such as the processing times, robot travel times and the loading/unloading times of the machines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-343
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Cellular automation
  • CNC
  • Flexible manufacturing systems
  • Industrial robots
  • Optimization
  • Production control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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