A planning method is presented for achieving shorter working-in-process and thus better productivity of printed circuit board assembly. This method finds the optimal sequence of component placement (and insertion) and near-optimal arrangement of feeders. For placement of components on a printed circuit board with a set of given feeder locations, the sequencing problem is shown to be equivalent to, and therefore solvable as, a linear assignment problem, which involves assigning n components to m feeders with the objective to minimize the total assembly time. A heuristic approach based on a linear assignment model is employed for arrangement of feeders. An example is provided to illustrate the solution generated by the proposed method.

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