A cell formation problem is introduced that incorporates various real-life production factors such as the alternative process routing, operation sequence, operation time, production volume of parts, machine capacity, machine investment cost, machine overload, multiple machines available for machine types and part process routing redesigning cost. None of the cell formation models in the literature has considered these factors simultaneously. A similarity coefficient is developed that incorporates alternative process routing, operation sequence, operation time and production volume factors. Although very few studies have considered the machine capacity violated issue under the alternative process routing environment, owing to the difficulties of the issue discussed here, these studies fail to deal with the issue because they depend on some unrealistic assumptions. Five solutions have been proposed here and are used to cope with this difficulty. A heuristic algorithm that consists of two stages is developed. The developed similarity coefficients is used in stage 1 to obtain basic machine cells. Stage 2 solves the machine-capacity violated issue, assigns parts to cells, selects process routing for each part and refines the final cell formation solution. Some numerical examples are used to compare with other related approaches in the literature and two large size problems are also solved to test the computational performance of the developed algorithm. The computational results suggest that the approach is reliable and efficient in either the quality or the speed for solving cell formation problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering