The dwell points for idle vehicles in an automated guided vehicle (AGV) system determine the response times for pick-up requests and thus affect the performance of automated manufacturing systems. In this paper, we address the problem of optimally locating dwell points for a given number of AGVs in a general guide-path layout. Based on an optimality property, we propose new mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulations for three versions of the problem: (i) minimizing the mean response time in the system, (ii) minimizing the maximum response time in the system, and (iii) minimizing the maximum response time in the system considering time restrictions on vehicle availability. Given that the computational time required to solve the MILP models significantly increases with the size of the guide-path network and number of available AGVs, we also develop a generic genetic algorithm (GA) that can be applied to all three versions of the problem. A computational study is carried out on the single-loop layout and two special cases of two-dimensional grid networks with the objectives of minimizing mean response time and minimizing the maximum response time. The results show that the proposed GA procedure can yield optimal or near optimal solutions in reasonable time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Economics and Econometrics
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering