Cellular manufacturing (CM) has been recognized as an innovative practice for companies to regain competitive advantages under today's small-to-medium lot manufacturing environment. Among the necessary decisions for a successful CM implementation, cell formation (CF) and group layout (GL) are the two most popular ones. These decisions have received extensive attention but are often treated as separate or sequential processes, despite their cross impact on each other. In this paper, we propose a new approach to concurrently solve the CF and GL problems. A conceptual framework and mathematical model, which integrates these two decisions and incorporates some important factors, such as operation sequence, part demand, transfer batch, machine capacity, and layout type, are proposed. A hierarchical genetic algorithm (HGA) is developed to solve the integrated cell design problem. The results from our investigations show that: (1) the proposed HGA procedure performs better than two other heuristics, and (2) the concurrent approach often finds better solutions than the sequential one.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering