Workload planning in small lot printed circuit board assembly

Hans Otto Günther, Martin Grunow, Christopher Schorling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The problem of workload planning in small lot printed circuit board (PCB) assembly concerns the determination of the daily mix of production orders to be released into the production system. When switching from one production order (board type) to another, a considerable set-up time is incurred based on the number of component feeders to be replaced in the component magazine of the assembly machines. To support the order-mix decision faced by a major electronics manufacturer, two versions of a linear programming model are developed. The models differ primarily in their degree of aggregation and their computational effort. In order to reduce the aggregational error incurred, a fuzzy approach is developed to estimate the number of component set-ups at automatic SMD placement machines. Our numerical investigation reveals that sufficiently accurate solutions may be obtained from a highly aggregate fuzzy LP-model and this is achieved with considerably less computational effort than with a more detailed LP-model. We also demonstrate the potential suitability of the fuzzy LP-model for implementation within an interactive decision support system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalOR Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggregational error
  • Decision support
  • Linear programming
  • Modelling
  • Printed circuit board assembly
  • Production
  • Scheduling


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