Noncyclic scheduling of dual-armed cluster tools for minimization of wafer residency time and makespan

Masaru Sakai, Tatsushi Nishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cluster tools are used for semiconductor wafer fabrication. A cluster tool consists of several loadlock modules, processing modules, and material handling armed robots to transfer wafers between loadlocks and processing modules. Most conventional scheduling methods consider a cyclic schedule to minimize makespan. We consider noncyclic scheduling of dual-armed cluster tools. In practice, it is important to minimize wafer residency time in processing modules to maintain the surface quality of wafers. In the noncyclic operations, the cluster tool causes deadlock which may lead to excessive loss in the wafer fabrication process. We propose an efficient deadlock-free scheduling method for the noncyclic scheduling problem of a dual-armed cluster tool to minimize the residency time and makespan. The proposed method is applied to a dual-armed cluster tool with a non-revisiting process and a revisiting process. Computational results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Mechanical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Petri net
  • Scheduling
  • cluster tools
  • deadlock prevention
  • residency time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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