HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

Comparing Functional and Cellular Layouts: A Simulation Study Based on Standardization

Document Type

Article

Date

2003

Publication Title

International Journal of Production Research

ISSN or ISBN

0020-7543

Volume

41

Issue

8

First Page

1639

Last Page

1663

Description

In the last decade, over two dozen simulation studies have focused on comparing cellular and functional layouts. The results reported by these studies vary widely, however. This remains true even when the key performance measure is flow time. These variations reflect the disparate manufacturing and operating environments, as well as differences in parts demands, set-up economies, overall loads and other factors. This work attempts to reduce the sources of variation due to different operating assumptions while retaining the variability associated with differences in part mix and demand characteristics. Instead of focusing on a single data source, this study uses a test bed of six problems extracted from the literature and ensures they share the same operational rules. The simulation results show that conversion to CMS can reduce flow times (relative to the job shop configuration) consistently across all data sets, provided the same operating rules and ranges for key parameter are used. We investigate the reduction in flow time while controlling for the key factors of set-up reduction, overall load on the system and batch size. We also assess the benefits of using transfer batches as a further factor in reducing flow time. Our overall conclusion is that set-up reductions in cells can overcome pooling losses, even under the conservative assumptions where batch size remain unchanged and the material transport times in the job shop are assumed to be negligible.

DOI

10.1080/0020754021000049790

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