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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 264518, 11 pages
Research Article

PCB Drill Path Optimization by Combinatorial Cuckoo Search Algorithm

1Advanced Engineering Platform and School of Engineering, Monash University Sunway Campus, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai 625015, India

Received 22 November 2013; Accepted 31 December 2013; Published 23 February 2014

Academic Editors: C. H. Aladag and C. Mohan

Copyright © 2014 Wei Chen Esmonde Lim 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.


Optimization of drill path can lead to significant reduction in machining time which directly improves productivity of manufacturing systems. In a batch production of a large number of items to be drilled such as printed circuit boards (PCB), the travel time of the drilling device is a significant portion of the overall manufacturing process. To increase PCB manufacturing productivity and to reduce production costs, a good option is to minimize the drill path route using an optimization algorithm. This paper reports a combinatorial cuckoo search algorithm for solving drill path optimization problem. The performance of the proposed algorithm is tested and verified with three case studies from the literature. The computational experience conducted in this research indicates that the proposed algorithm is capable of efficiently finding the optimal path for PCB holes drilling process.