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Architecture of a flexible scheduling component

: Wiechers, O.; Zehtaban, M.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung -IPA-, Stuttgart:
Factory logistics in cleanroom manufacturing, material flow, material scheduling and automation : Fraunhofer IPA Workshop, Stuttgart, July 14, 2004
Stuttgart, 2004 (Fraunhofer IPA Workshop)
Factory Logistics in Cleanroom Manufacturing, Material Flow, Material Scheduling and Automation <2004, Stuttgart>
Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung (Workshop) <2004, Stuttgart>
Fraunhofer IPA ()
semiconductor; scheduling; logistic; decision making; Halbleiter

Scheduling generally deals with the allocation of resources over time to perform a number of jobs. It is indeed a form of decision making which plays an important role in the manufacturing environment. In the current competitive situation, fulfilling the promises and commitments by meeting the shipping dates on one hand and scheduling the activities in a way that available resources are more efficiently utilized on the other hand, are important survival keys. In hightech industries like semiconductor fabrication where resources are limited and some of the equipments are considerable bottlenecks, where shipping dates and due dates are meaningful commitments and where material flow and production logistics is complex, an effective scheduling tool is of high value.
As basic for the development of such a tool the architecture of a generic scheduling tool is defined.
In the scope of a research and development project, a component-based, configurable software for a flexible scheduling tool in high-tech industries is being developed. This scheduling tool should be able to provide job schedules for different scopes: for example for a part of the wafer fabrication area or for a cluster tool within the fabrication and even more flexible to be possibly integrated into equipments of other branches, for example scheduling jobs in pharmaceutical laboratories. This means, it should consider different constraints like for example, release date, due date and resource availability. On the other hand it should provide the flexibility for the user to decide against which criteria the optimization should be performed, like for example equipment utilization, tardiness or cycle time. The constraints and the flexibility will not restrict the capability of the scheduling tool of being executed in different environments. Apart from the different components which will be integrated to the scheduling tool to perform before and after scheduling tasks, the core scheduling component of the software will be the representation of different mathematical and heuristic algorithms for scheduling and optimization, analysis and
evaluation tools, and decision tools. In presentation, design, architecture and a short introduction of the main software components as well as a closer look to the required components in the core scheduling part of the scheduling tool will be presented.
This research and development work is an ongoing governmental project funded by the BMWA "Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit" (Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour) for "Developing component-based, configurable software for the flexible optimization of logistics operations in high-tech industries".