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A flow direction weighting scheme for facility layout in cellular manufacturing

Davies, Alan, John, Elwyn Graham and Thomas, Andrew 2013. A flow direction weighting scheme for facility layout in cellular manufacturing. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 62 (2) , pp. 185-203. 10.1108/17410401311295731

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the solution methodology to the facility grouping problem in group technology originally outlined by Mukhopadhyay et al. The aim of this re-examination is to attempt to resolve some of the problems associated with the original solution methodology and to provide the system designer with an improved technique for the creation of an efficient initial system design solution. Cellular manufacture by its very nature requires work-part transfer both within a machine cell and in some instances between machine cells. By utilising a design methodology which seeks to minimise work-part transfer, these non-value but cost adding tasks are kept to a minimum, thereby providing a faster throughput time and lower operational costs for companies who use cellular manufacturing systems in their production operations. Design/methodology/approach – In approach, the technique advocated parallels the possible alternative solution method suggested by John et al. to resolve the problem of edge ranking ties which exists in the original Mukhopadhyay et al. solution technique. Presented and discussed in this contribution is a revised flow direction weighting scheme (FDWS) which simplifies the solution input data requirements and overcomes a perceived disadvantage in the earlier scheme outlined by John et al. The methodology outlined in the paper is subsequently evaluated for its generic nature, applicability and effectiveness via the use of previously published synthetic production data, and the findings compared to the results determined by several alternative approaches to the problem. Findings – The development and application of the FDWS to cellular manufacturing system design is outlined in the paper and the usefulness of the technique is subsequently examined and compared to the results found for several competing methods. The approach provides for the identification of improved solutions to the test problems examined in both of the earlier contributions by Mukhopadhyay et al., and John et al. In addition, the results show that irrespective of the assessment criteria used, the FDWS technique provides solutions that are comparable to or better than the alternative approaches examined. Originality/value – The proposed FDWS technique further contributes to the existing knowledge base on cellular manufacturing system design. It can provide good initial solution guidance for manufacturing system designers and thereby reduce the time required to achieve an acceptable and cost efficient design for a cellular production system.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: T Technology > TS Manufactures
Uncontrolled Keywords: The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution made by Dr R.I. Grosvenor of the School of Engineering, Cardiff University in confirming, via a suitable MATLAB programme, that the minimum number of inter-stage moves quoted for the examples used in this article are in fact 20, 20 and seven as recorded in the text.
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 1741-0401
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2022 02:33

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