In this paper, an ant colony optimisation approach is proposed to solve the facility layout problem with unequal area departments and flexible bays, which is one of the commonly used layout representations in industry practice. Optimal approaches to the facility layout design can only solve problems with a limited number of departments. The proposed ant colony optimisation approach is tested on 21 fairly well-known unequal area facility layout problems from the literature with up to 62 departments, and the results are compared with the previously best known solutions. Different cases of these problems are also tested. The proposed ant colony optimisation approach is shown to be very effective in finding previously known best solutions in a very short amount of CPU times and making improvements up to 17.38%.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering