Table of Contents
Journal of Industrial Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 295604, 11 pages
Research Article

Chip Attach Scheduling in Semiconductor Assembly

Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, Dongguan University of Technology, Songshan Lake District, Dongguan, Guangdong 523808, China

Received 13 December 2012; Accepted 20 February 2013

Academic Editor: Josefa Mula

Copyright © 2013 Zhicong Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chip attach is the bottleneck operation in semiconductor assembly. Chip attach scheduling is in nature unrelated parallel machine scheduling considering practical issues, for example, machine-job qualification, sequence-dependant setup times, initial machine status, and engineering time. The major scheduling objective is to minimize the total weighted unsatisfied Target Production Volume in the schedule horizon. To apply -learning algorithm, the scheduling problem is converted into reinforcement learning problem by constructing elaborate system state representation, actions, and reward function. We select five heuristics as actions and prove the equivalence of reward function and the scheduling objective function. We also conduct experiments with industrial datasets to compare the -learning algorithm, five action heuristics, and Largest Weight First (LWF) heuristics used in industry. Experiment results show that -learning is remarkably superior to the six heuristics. Compared with LWF, -learning reduces three performance measures, objective function value, unsatisfied Target Production Volume index, and unsatisfied job type index, by considerable amounts of 80.92%, 52.20%, and 31.81%, respectively.