Iterative two-stage hybrid algorithm for the vehicle lifter location problem in semiconductor manufacturing

Sangmin Lee, Hyun Gu Kahng, Taesu Cheong, Seoung Bum Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Automated material handling systems (AMHSs) in semiconductor fabrication facilities (fabs) are inherently capital intensive because they are moving toward full automation. However, in addition to being capital intensive, full automation can come at the cost of compromised performance or instability when abnormal events occur. Vehicular congestion is one example of an abnormal event and is a recurring problem in fabs that reduces production efficiency. In this paper, motivated by a material handling system design problem when constructing a new semiconductor fabrication plant in practice, we present a model for optimizing the location of overhead hoist transport lifters, which have proven to be a suitable addition to AMHSs for resolving bottlenecks caused by heavy congestion. To do so, we study a capacitated facility location problem (CFLP) that incorporates real-life constraints and consider the interactions between lifters of differing types. We first propose a hybrid approach that combines a genetic algorithm with a depth-first search (DFS) based on memorization to approximate the optimum positions for the installation of the lifters. We then conduct a numerical experiment to compare the performance of our approach with optimal solutions in small- to medium-sized facilities and perform a sensitivity analysis for the important parameters involved. Finally, an experimental study based on real data from semiconductor fabs is conducted to demonstrate the applicability and usefulness of the proposed model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-119
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd . This work was also supported by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) grant funded by the Korea government ( S0249-19-1005 , the development of the Shipyard IHOP process standard simulator and decision support system).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers


  • AMHS design
  • Depth-first search
  • Facility location problem
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Overhead hoist transport lifter
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Vehicle lifter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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