This paper focuses on an integrated optimization problem that is designed to improve productivity in printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. We examine the problems of allocating the components to feeders and sequencing the placement of these components on the PCBs, populated by a rotary head machine with surface mount technology. While previous research focuses on sequencing the placement and only considers this subproblem as part of an interrelated set of problems, we provide an integrated approach which tackles all subproblems simultaneously as a single problem. Given an epsilon-approximation algorithm for the vehicle routing problem we present a solution with an epsilon-error gap for the PCB problem. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.