The assembly of printed circuit boards: A case with multiple machines and multiple board types

Yves Crama, Olaf E. Flippo, Joris Van De Klundert, Frits C.R. Spieksma

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74 Scopus citations


In this paper a typical situation arising in the assembly of printed circuit boards is investigated. The planning problem we face is how to assemble boards of different types using a single line of placement machines. From a practical viewpoint, the multiplicity of board types adds significantly to the complexity of the problem, which is already very hard to solve in the case of a single board type. In addition, relatively few studies deal with the multiple board type case. We propose a solution procedure based on a hierarchical decomposition of the planning problem. An important subproblem in this decomposition is the so-called feeder rack assignment problem. By taking into account as much as possible the individual board type characteristics (as well as the machine characteristics) we heuristically solve this problem. The remaining subproblems are solved using constructive heuristics and local search methods. The solution procedure is tested on real-life instances. It turns out that, in terms of the makespan, we can substantially improve the current solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-472
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Feeder rack assignment problem
  • Heuristics
  • PCB-assembly


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