A heuristic algorithm for cell formation problems with consideration of multiple production factors

Chenguang Liu, Yong Yin, Kazuhiko Yasuda, Jie Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


For the design of manufacturing cells, numerous mathematical models and various algorithms have been extensively investigated in the literature. However, most of the proposed models and algorithms have more or fewer drawbacks on the issues with real-life situations. In this paper, we propose a mathematical model that incorporates multiple key real-life production factors simultaneously, namely, production volume, batch size, alternative process routings and perfect coefficient of each routing, cell size, unit cost of intercell/intracell movements, and path coefficient of material flows. Then, to solve this NP-hard model, we develop a heuristic algorithm with three stages: (1) form the temporary machine group plan according to the alternative process routings of each part, (2) select the appropriate process routing of each part with respect to the over-all material movement cost, and (3) configure the regular manufacturing cells based on the appropriate process routing. A simple numerical example and an industrial case are used to test the computational performance of the proposed algorithm. The test results imply that it is useful for manufacturing cell design in both quality and speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1213
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number9-12
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb 1


  • Cell formation
  • Cellular manufacturing system
  • Heuristic algorithm
  • Multiple production factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering


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