An Industrial Optimization Platform to Integrate Integer Programming and Heuristic Search Techniques
Acculogic’s “Flying Scorpion” product is a state-of-the-art tester for short-batch electronic circuit boards (ECBs). The order in which it performs the required tests affects the amount of shuttle and probe movements required between the tests, and this affects the overall efficiency of the test procedure. Unique characteristics of the problem (e.g. the ability to move one set of probes to the next test location while another set of probes is performing a test) make the problem too large and too complex to be solved with most traditional combinatorial optimization and heuristic search techniques (e.g. integer programming and genetic algorithms). Supporting the integration of both artificial intelligence-based and mathematical-based optimization techniques, a unique optimization architecture derived from “Asynchronous Teams” has been developed specifically for Acculogic’s problem. The new optimization process promises significant improvements in performance, and these advances will be quickly implemented into Acculogic’s product offerings.