A genetic algorithm approach to scheduling PCBs on a single machine

O. Z. Maimon, D. Braha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This paper addresses the problem of scheduling N printed circuit boards (PCBs) on a single machine equipped with an automatic component interchange mechanism. Assume that the total number of different components required to process all N PCBs is greater than the capacity of the spool. If the requisite components are not on the spool, then one or more component switches must occur before the PCB can be processed. The problem consists of finding the order to schedule the PCBs on the axial insertion machine and the components to place on the spool before each PCB is processed. The performance criterion is to minimize the total number of component switches. This problem is addressed employing a genetic algorithm to search the space of alternative solutions. To evaluate the performance of the GA, a heuristic solution based on a travelling salesman formulation is described. Extensive experiments were carried out for both approaches based on data extracted from industrial scenes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-784
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998


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