Integrated Scheduling of a Dual-Armed Cluster Tool for Maximizing Steady Schedule Patterns

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A cluster tool consists of several single-wafer processing chambers and a wafer handling robot. A wafer has to wait within a chamber after being processed there until it is unloaded by the robot. Such wafer delays may cause wafer quality degradation or variability due to residual gases and heat in the chamber. The tool operation schedule has to maintain identical timing patterns or schedules for each cycle so as to keep wafer delays constant for every wafer. However, at the beginning of the tool operation, the tool is in an empty state and hence we need to make the tool reach such steady schedule by loading wafers into the tool. In this article, we develop a method of scheduling the robot tasks during the start-up period of a cluster tool to reach a target steady schedule quickly as possible. To do this, we model the behaviors of a cluster tool using timed Petri nets and linear system matrices in the max-plus algebra. By analyzing the matrices, we first identify a class of steady schedules which can be reached from the empty tool. We develop the matrices that explain the schedule evolution of the start-up period before reaching the steady period. By examining the matrices, we develop a method of choosing the most desirable one from such class of reachable steady schedules that can be achieved in the minimum time. We also prove that the schedule also minimizes the time duration of the close-down. Finally, we present computational experiments.
Publisher
IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC
Issue Date
2021-12
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SYSTEMS, MAN, AND CYBERNETICS: SYSTEMS, v.51, no.12, pp.7282 - 7294

ISSN
2168-2216
DOI
10.1109/tsmc.2020.2978486
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/289593
Appears in Collection
IE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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