This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

**Design of Flexible Plant Layouts
**

Saifallah Benjaafar and Mehdi Sheikhzadeh Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55455

Abstract In this paper, we address the problem of designing flexible plant layouts for manufacturing facilities where product demands are subject to variability. A flexible layout is one that maintains low material handling costs despite fluctuations in the product demand levels. We extend existing procedures for design of flexible layouts by (1) explicitly capturing the stochastic nature of product demands and the resulting variability in material flows between different processing departments, (2) allowing for the possibility of multiple processing departments of the same type to exist in the same facility, and (3) letting material flows between pairs of individual departments be determined simultaneously with the layout and as a function of demand scenarios. Optimal and heuristic methods are presented for generating flexible layouts and determining flow allocations under various design and operation assumptions.

1.

Introduction

The ability to design and operate manufacturing facilities that can quickly and effectively

adapt to changing technological and market requirements is becoming increasingly important to the success of any manufacturing organization. In the face of shorter product lifecycles, higher product variety, increasingly unpredictable demand, and shorter delivery times, manufacturing facilities dedicated to a single product line cannot be cost effective any longer. Investment

efficiency now requires that manufacturing facilities be able to shift quickly from one product line to another without major retooling, resource reconfiguration, or replacement of equipment. Investment efficiency also requires that manufacturing facilities be able to simultaneously make several products so that smaller volume products can be combined in a single facility and that fluctuations in product mixes and volumes can be more easily accommodated. In short,

manufacturing facilities must be able to exhibit high levels of flexibility and robustness despite significant changes in their operating requirements. Although there exists an abundant literature on manufacturing flexibility as it relates, for example, to machines, material handling, product mix, part routing, and part sequencing [3] [27] [31], very little of this literature deals with layout flexibility. Webster and Tyberghein [38] define layout flexibility as the ability of a layout to respond to known and future product mixes. They consider the most flexible layout to be the one with the lowest material handling cost over a number of demand scenarios. Bullington and Webster [6] extend this definition to the multiperiod case and present a method for evaluating layout flexibility based on estimating the costs of future relayouts. They recommend that these costs be used as an additional criterion in

determining the most flexible layout. Gupta [11] presents a simulation approach for measuring layout flexibility. He obtains the various flow matrices by random generation of flow volume instances between pairs of departments. Using a heuristic, such as CRAFT. a layout for each generated flow matrix is derived. For each such layout, the distance between all pairs of departments is computed. These distances are, in turn, used to compute the average distance between departments over the set of

-2-

all generated layouts. A penalty function measuring the sum of absolute deviations from their distance mean of all pairs of departments for a given layout is then calculated. A layout with the smallest penalty is considered to be the most flexible layout. Shore and Tompkins [29] also propose a penalty function as a criterion for choosing the most flexible layout. Their penalty function measures the expected material handling inefficiency of each layout over all possible production demand scenarios. Assuming the probability of each demand scenario is known and the number of scenarios is finite, the layout with the least expected inefficiency can be identified. This layout is considered to be the most flexible layout. Rosenblatt and Lee [25] present a robustness approach to the stochastic plant layout problem. They consider an uncertain environment in which the exact values of the probabilities of the different possible scenarios are unknown. For such an environment, layout flexibility is defined in terms of the robustness of the layout's performance under different scenarios. Thus, the most flexible (robust) layout is the one whose cost performance remains close to the optimal layout for the largest number of scenarios. A robustness approach to the single and multiple period layout problem is also proposed by Kouvelis et al. [12]. Rosenblatt and Kropp [24] presented an optimal solution procedure for the single period stochastic plant layout problem. They showed that their procedure only requires solving a deterministic from-to flow matrix, where the deterministic matrix is a weighted average of all possible flow matrices. They compared their results to the flexible layout measure developed by Shore and Tompkins [29] and showed that their approach will always result in the most flexible layout. The stochastic plant layout problem has also been addressed by Montreuil and Laforge [18] and Palekar et al. [23], among others. Recently, Drolet [8] introduced virtual cellular manufacturing systems (VCMS) as a more flexible alternative to conventional cellular configurations for computer integrated manufacturing systems. Instead of configuring a manufacturing facility into cells, each dedicated to a specific part family, machines of various types are distributed throughout the shop floor and reconfigured in real time in virtual cells in response to actual job orders. Upon completing the job order, the

-3-

virtual cell is disbanded and the associated machines are made again available to the system. Figure 1 contrasts the differences between virtual cellular layouts, conventional cellular, and process layouts. The author does not, however, provide a procedure for generating these layouts. To support flexible system configurations, such as a VCMS, Montreuil et al. [20] introduced the concept of holographic layouts as an alternative to process layouts for systems operating in highly volatile environments. An holographic layout spreads the machines of each type throughout the manufacturing facility. For each machine of a particular type, an attempt is made to insure its proximity to machines of every other type so that routings that are flow efficient can be created in real time by an intelligent shop floor control system. A heuristic design

procedure is proposed where the objective is to generate a layout such that each machine is as centrally located, with respect to other machines of different type, as possible. The procedure assumes, however, that no distinguishable flow patterns exist and that a maximally dispersed layout is always desirable. More recently, the same authors [21] [35] proposed the fractal layout as yet another alternative for job shop environments. In a fractal layout, several almost-identical cells are created, with each cell being allocated, whenever possible, an equal number of machines of each type. This results in a set of flexible cells, where every product can be produced in almost every cell. The authors propose a multi-stage design methodology for cell creation, cell layout, and cell flow assignment. In particular, cell layouts are generated in an iterative fashion with flow assignment decisions. In this paper, we address the problem of designing flexible plant layouts for manufacturing facilities where product demands and product mix composition are subject to fluctuation. We define flexible layouts as those that can effectively cope with product demand variability, where effectiveness is measured by expected material handling cost over the various possible demand scenarios. A flexible layout is, thus, one that would maintain low material handling costs despite fluctuations in the product demand levels and fluctuations in the resulting material handling flows. In our solution method, we extend existing procedures for design of

-4-

(a) Process layout

(b) Cellular layout

(c) Virtual cellular layout Figure 1 Process layout, cellular layout, and virtual cellular layout

-5-

flexible layouts by (1) explicitly capturing the stochastic nature of product demands and the resulting material flows between different processing departments, (2) allowing for the possibility of multiple processing departments of the same type to exist in the same facility (e.g., two separate machining centers not sharing a common processing location), and (3) letting material flows between pairs of individual departments be determined simultaneously with the layout and as a function of the demand scenarios. This approach to layout design departs from conventional solution methods to both the static and stochastic layout problem in several ways. Most important of which is the fact that we account for the possibility of having multiple departments of the same type in the same facility. This is significant since duplicating departments or disaggregating existing ones (e.g., not placing all machines of a given type in the same plant floor area) is increasingly being recognized as an effective mechanism for enhancing layout flexibility. By strategically locating duplicate

departments in different areas of the plant floor, a facility can hedge against future fluctuations in job flow patterns and volumes. In fact, having alternative processing departments to which jobs can be routed can reduce and simplify material handling requirements in a job shop even in the absence of variability. This is evident in cellular manufacturing layouts, where distributing individual machines throughout the manufacturing facility is found to significantly reduce material handling effort. In such a layout, copies of the same machine type are allocated to different cells so that jobs that are assigned to a cell can be completely processed within the cell by adjoining machines. Unfortunately, cellular manufacturing systems can be highly inflexible, since they are generally designed with a fixed set of part families in mind whose demand levels are assumed to be stable and their life cycles are considered to be sufficiently long. In fact, once a cell is formed, it is usually dedicated to a single part family with limited allowance for intercell flows. While such organization may be adequate when part families are clearly identifiable and demand volumes are stable, they become inefficient in the presence of significant fluctuations in the demand of

-6-

existing products or with the frequent introduction of new ones. A discussion of the limitations of cellular manufacturing systems can be found in [1], [2], [10], and [39]. These limitations resulted in recent calls for alternative and more flexible cellular structures, such as overlapping cells [1], cells with machine sharing [2] [32], and virtual cellular manufacturing systems [8]. For highly volatile environments, certain authors have even

suggested, as discussed earlier, a completely distributed layout, where copies of a given machine type are dispersed as much as possible throughout the shop floor [20] or the creation of multiple identical cells as in the fractal layout [21] [35]. The procedure proposed in this paper, in addition to generating cost effective layouts for plants operating in stochastic environments, can serve as a tool for evaluating the desirability of various types of distributed layouts and/or to assess the benefits of various degrees of disaggregation of existing departments into smaller and geographically distributed sub-centers. The procedure also offers, once a particular layout is selected, a method for determining optimal flow volumes between pairs of departments and sub-departments for each demand scenario. This provides a manufacturing facility with additional flexibility in dealing with demand variability. We should note that letting both layout and flow volume allocation be decision variables is also proposed by Montreuil et al. [21 [35] in the context of fractal cellular layouts.

2.

Solution Procedure

The layout design procedure we describe in this section is for manufacturing facilities that

produce multiple product types whose demands may fluctuate from period to period according to a known distribution. To illustrate the procedure, we consider the case where the demand for each product is characterized by a finite discrete distribution, represented by a finite number of demand realization scenarios and probabilities of occurrence of each scenario. Demand for products are assumed to be independent. The procedure can be easily extended to continuous and correlated demand distributions (see Appendix 1). Characterizing the demand distributions may be based on historical data and/or forecasts. We assume the following information is known:

-7-

• the set of product types P = {p1, p2, …, pP} produced in the facility, • the demand distribution for each product p i, as described by a set of demand realization scenarios Di = {di1, di2, …, dini} and associated probabilities Πi = {πi1, πι2, …, πini}, • the process routing for each product type, consisting of the sequence of department types visited by the product, • the unit transfer load for each product between each pair of department types (i.e., size of the transfer batch), • number of copies of each department type, • the set of available locations, • the distance between each pair of locations, • the average processing time per product per unit load of flow at both the originating and destination departments, and • the available operation time per department. The basic steps of our procedure can be summarized as follows: i) From the product demand distributions, the product process routings, and the product unit transfer loads, we determine for each possible demand scenario the amount of product flow, vijp, between each pair of department types i and j. This results in a multi-product from-to flow matrix, m(s), for each demand scenario s. ii) From the individual product demand distributions, we obtain the probability of occurrence of each demand scenario s, π(s). iii) For each demand scenario, we generate the corresponding optimal layout (when an optimal layout is computationally difficult to obtain, we use the heuristic procedure outlined later) and the corresponding optimal flow allocation between copies of the same department. iv) Once all the layouts have been generated, we evaluate each layout over the entire set of possible demand scenario and select the most flexible layout (for example, we choose the layout with the lowest expected value of material handling cost over all demand scenarios).

-8-

The required calculations for generating flow matrices and their probability of occurrence are illustrated for an example system in Tables 1-5. Note that the flow matrix is multi-dimensional with each entry being a vector representing the individual flows from each product. It is also important to note that the generated from-to flow matrices only give the amount of flow between department types. The determination of the flow volume between individual departments is determined by the optimization model, simultaneously with the layout. The number of possible flow matrices can be large when either the number of products is high or the number of product demand scenarios is large. An alternative to complete enumeration is to use Monte Carlo

simulation with a limited sample size (see Appendix 1).

2.1

**Layout-Flow Allocation Model
**

For each demand scenario, the optimal layout and the corresponding optimal allocation of

flow between departments can be obtained by solving the following model: Min z = subject to:

p = 1 i = 1 j = 1 ni = 1 mj = 1 k = 1 l = 1

∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑

P

N

N

Ni

Nj

K

K

v nim jpd klx nikx m jl

k=1

∑

N

K

x n ik = 1

Ni

ni = 1i, 2i, …, Ni; i = 1, 2, …, N

(1)

i = 1 ni = 1

∑ ∑

P N

x n ik = 1

Ni

k = 1, 2, …, K

(2)

p = 1 i = 0 ni = 1

∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑

Ni Ni Nj

v n im jp t m jp ≤ c m j

mj = 1j, 2j, …, Nj; j = 1, 2, …, N

(3)

vnimjp = v ijp

i, j = 0, 1, …, N; p = 1, 2, …, P

Nq

(4)

ni = 1 mj = 1

i = 0 ni = 1

∑ ∑

N

v n im jp =

q = 0 rq = 1

∑ ∑

N

vmjrqp

m j = 1j, 2j, …, Nj; j = 1, 2, …, N; p = 1,2, …, P

(5)

-9-

xnik = 0, 1

where:

ni = 1i, 2i, …, Ni; k = 1, 2, …, K

(6)

x n ik = {

1 if nth department of type i is assigned to location k 0 otherwise vnimjp: flow volume between nth department of type i and mth department of type j due to product

type p , vijp: flow volume between departments of type i and departments of type j due to product type p, dkl: distance between location k and location l (known parameter), tmjp: Processing time per unit load of product type p at department mj, cni: capacity of department ni (available operation time, Ni: number of departments of type i, N: total number of department types, K: total number of locations, and P: total number of product types. The above model solves simultaneously for department location and volume of flow between individual departments, so that material handling costs are minimized. The decision variables are the x n i k 's and the v n im jp 's. Constraints (1) and (2) ensure that each department is assigned to exactly one location and each location is assigned to one department. When the number of locations exceeds the number of departments, dummy departments with zero flows may, without loss of optimality, be used to account for the difference. Constraint (3) ensures that the flow volume allocated to a department does not exceed the capacity of that department. Constraint (4) equates the amount of flow between multiple copies of departments of type i and j to the amount of flow between department type i and department type j, as dictated by the from-to flow matrix. Constraint (5) ensures that the amount of input and output flow (per product) to and from a department are the same. Note that the index i = 0 is used to denote input/output

departments. This is necessary in order to capture both entering and exiting flows. However,

-10-

Table 1 Example part demands under different states Parts P1 P2 P3 P4 Low 50 80 150 90 Medium 100 120 200 180 High 150 160 250 270

Table 2 Probability of occurrence for different demand states States Low (L) Medium (M) High (H) Probability of occurrence 0.2 0.5 0.3

Table 3 Probability of occurrence for different demand combinations Scenarios LLLL MMMM HHHH LLLM LLLH LLMH • • • Probability of occurrence 0.0016 0.0625 0.008 0.004 0.0024 0.006 • • •

Table 4 Part Manufacturing Sequences Parts P1 P2 P3 P4 Manufacturing sequence A→B→D→E→F B → C → A → D →Β → E B → A → C → F→ E → D C→B→D→A→F

**Table 5 Multi-product Flow matrix for demand combination HHHH A A B C D E F
**

(0,0,0,0) (0,0,250,0) 0,160,0,270) (0,0,0,270) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0)

B

(150,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,160,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0)

C

(0,0,250,0) (0,160,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0)

D

(0,160,0,0) (150,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,250,0) (0,0,0,0)

E

(0,0,0,0) (0,160,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (150,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,250,0)

F

(0, 0,0,270) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,250,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0) (0,0,0,0)

-11-

this formulation is used only for modeling convenience, since we assume that a product can enter or exit at any department. The above model can be viewed as a variation on the classical quadratic assignment problem (QAP) [9]. The differences between the two models are, however, important. In our model, the objective function is polynomial, as department location and flow volume between departments are both decision variables. This difference is due to the availability of multiple departments of the same type. Obviously, when there is only a single copy of each department, the model reduces to the classical QAP. As we discuss later on, the fact that flow volumes between departments are not pre-determined allows us to optimize material handling costs even if the layout is fixed. The model assumes that all department copies are of the same size. In practice, this may not always hold, especially if we consider duplicates of the same department not containing the same numbers of machines. This problem could be addressed by disaggregating departments into small grids with equal area and assigning artificially large flows between grids of the same department so that they are always placed in adjoining locations. A more detailed discussion of the general merits and limitations of this approach can be found in Liao [15], Kusiak and Heragu [13] and Bozer and Meller [5], among others. Alternative methods for incorporating departments of unequal size have been proposed (e.g., see Montreuil [17]). For a recent survey, the reader is referred to Meller and Gau [16]. Finally, the model assumes that, as long as capacity constraints are not violated, there is total flexibility in making workload assignments to departments. Such a strategy, while allowing us to minimize material handling costs, may result in unbalanced workload distribution among departments of the same type. In turn, this may negatively impact congestion levels and

throughput times at the more utilized departments. However, the model can easily be modified to allow for a balanced workload assignment among all departments of the same type. For example, exchanging constraint (3) with the following constraint:

-12-

p = 1 i = 0 ni = 1

∑ ∑ ∑

P

N

Ni

(vnimjptmjp)/cmj =

mj = 1 p = 1 i = 0 ni = 1

∑ [∑ ∑ ∑

Nj

P

N

Ni

(vnimjptmjp)/cmj]/N j ,

(7)

where mj = 1j , 2j , …, Nj and j = 1, 2, …, N, results in a solution that balances workload among departments of the same type. Constraint (7) can be similarly modified to allow for alternative workload assignment strategies and/or additional operating constraints.

2.2 A Heuristic Approach

Because the quadratic assignment problem has been shown elsewhere to be NP complete [8], the model proposed here is also NP complete. This means that obtaining an optimal solution for most problems in practice would require an excessive amount of computational effort. Therefore, a heuristic method is provided below. The method is an extension of existing layout heuristics, such as CRAFT [37], that use an iterative pairwise, or multi-step, exchange procedure in generating a final layout. Our approach differs from these heuristics in that we are not only solving for the layout but also for the flow volume allocation between departments. Consequently, at each iteration step and for each new layout considered, the flow volume allocation problem needs to be first solved before the layout cost can be calculated. Fortunately, the problem can be formulated as a linear program and solved optimally in a reasonable amount of time. The steps of the heuristic are described below: Step 1: Set J = 1. Step 2: Generate an initial layout. Step 3: Solve optimally for flow volume allocation (a linear program). Step 4: Calculate z(J), the resulting objective function value of the original layout problem. Step 5: Set J = J + 1. If J > Jmax, go to step 9 (e.g., Jmax is the maximum number of feasible pairwise interchanges). Step 6: Generate the next layout (e.g., by a pairwise interchange). Step 7: Solve optimally for flow volume allocation (a linear program). Step 8: Calculate z(J), the resulting value for the objective function. Go back to step 5.

-13-

Step 9: Implement the minimum cost layout. If the minimum cost layout is the same as the previous one, then go to step 10. Otherwise, set J = 1 and go back to step 5. Step 10: Stop. The linear program that must be solved at each iteration (steps 3 and 7) is given below: Min z = subject to:

p = 1 i = 1 j = 1 ni = 1 mj = 1 k = 1 l = 1

∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑

P

N

N

Ni

Nj

K

K

v nim jpd klx nikx m jl

p = 1 i = 0 ni = 1

∑ ∑ ∑

Ni Nj

P

N

Ni

v n im jp t m jp ≤ c m j

mj = 1j, 2, …, Nj; j = 1, 2, …, N

(1)

ni = 1 mj = 1

∑ ∑

N Ni

vnimjp = v ijp

i, j = 0, 1, …, N; p = 1, 2, …, P

Nq

(2)

i = 0 ni = 1

∑ ∑

v n im jp =

q = 0 rq = 1

∑ ∑

N

vmjrqp

m j = 1j, 2j, …, N j, j = 1, 2, …, N; p = 1,2, …, P

(3)

Note that, in this case, the values of the variables x n ik and x m jl in the objective function are already known. The only decision variables are therefore the flow volumes v n im jp . Once the flow volumes between departments are known, the cost of the layout under consideration can be calculated (steps 4 and 8). The above heuristic, by requiring that at each iteration and for each potential pairwise exchange the flow allocation problem be solved optimally, can be computationally demanding. An alternative heuristic, found to be equally effective but computationally less intensive, is to iteratively solve a layout problem with fixed flows followed by a flow volume allocation with a fixed layout. This is similar to a heuristic used in facility location problems where both facility location and customer allocation must be made simultaneously [7]. The heuristic can be

summarized as follows: (1) given a fixed layout, find a minimum cost flow allocation between departments; (2) given fixed flow allocation between departments, find a minimum cost layout. The heuristic alternates between steps (1) and (2) until convergence is achieved. An application of

-14-

the same principle to the design of fractal cellular layout can also be found in Montreuil et al. [21 [35]. The solution obtained, while not guaranteed to be optimal, satisfies the following necessary condition for optimality [9]: (a) for the obtained layout, the solution cannot be improved by changing flow allocations; (b) for the obtained flow allocations, the solution cannot be improved by changing the layout. Computational experiments are inconclusive as to which of the two heuristics performs best. However, the second heuristic appears to be computationally less intensive. Finally, we should note that alternatives to the pairwise exchange heuristic could be used in layout generation. In fact, any heuristic/search method used to solve the quadratic assignment problem can be applied. For a recent review of QAP problems and heuristics, the reader is referred to Pardalos and Wolkowicz [22].

2.3

**Flexible Layout Selection
**

The result of either the optimization model or the heuristic is a layout of the various

departments and an allocation of flow between these departments. Once such a layout has been identified for every possible demand realization scenario, a decision must be made as to which of these layouts is the most flexible. By definition, a flexible layout is one that maintains low material handling costs despite changes in demand levels. Therefore, a possible measure of layout flexibility is the layout's expected material handling cost over the range of feasible demand scenarios. This is a similar definition to that proposed by Shore and Tompkins [29] and

Rosenblatt and Kropp [24]. A procedure for identifying the most flexible layout, can then be obtained by (1) constructing the matrix z(L(I), J), where z(L(I), J) is the material handling cost resulting from using a layout generated for demand scenario I when the actual demand corresponds to that of scenario J, and (2) selecting the most flexible layout by choosing, for example, the layout with the smallest expected material handling cost over all demand scenarios. Note that in obtaining the material handling cost of operating a layout that was designed for demand scenario I under scenario J, a linear program is solved in order to determine the optimal -15-

**flow volume allocation. The expected material handling cost of each layout, E[z(L(I)], is given by:
**

E[z(L(I))] =

J∈S

∑

π(J)z(L(I), J)

where π(J) is the probability of occurrence of demand scenario J and S is the set of all feasible scenarios. The above definition of a flexible layout, as the one with the lowest average cost, is by no means unique. Alternative criteria for selecting the most flexible layout can be used. For

example, a robustness criterion may, for certain facilities, be more appropriate. The layout whose cost does not exceed the lowest cost layout by a certain percentage the most number of times is chosen. This criterion is similar to the one used in Rosenblatt and Lee [25]. The robustness criterion can be particularly useful when probabilities are difficult to assign to different demand scenarios. A min-max criterion could also be used when the objective is to limit the cost of the worst case scenario. Both criteria, expected cost and robustness, do not, however, account for variance. A layout with low expected cost may have high variance if its performance fluctuates significantly from one demand scenario to another. This can be unacceptable if the material handling cost is excessively high for one or more of these scenarios. Variance can be accounted for by using a combined mean-variance criterion. Alternatively, certain layouts may be disqualified from further consideration if their associated cost exceeds a certain level for one or more demand scenarios. Finally, we should note that in identifying the most flexible layout, we have restricted in our current procedure our attention to the set of the best layouts selected for different scenarios. In doing so, we may have overlooked a layout with a lower overall expected material handling cost that is not necessarily optimal for any scenario. This limitation can be overcome by directly solving for the layout with the lowest expected material handling cost. implements this approach is described in Appendix 2. A procedure that

Extensive experimentation with both

procedures indicates that the second procedure yields layouts with slightly lower expected material

-16-

handling costs. The difference between the two procedures tends to diminish with increases in the level of department duplication. Our original procedure is, however, more general since it allows for alternative criteria (other than expected cost) for measuring layout flexibility to be used.

**3. Computer Implementation and Example Problems
**

A computer software application, FLEX-LAYOUT, that implements the above flexible layout design procedure was developed. The software application† is written in C and is

interfaced with the Math Programming software package LINDO [18]. LINDO is called when generating a solution to the flow volume allocation problem (a linear program). The

implementation platform is a SUN Sparc 20 workstation. Several hundred problems of varying sizes were evaluated. While no attempt was made to optimize the performance of the software at this stage, fairly large scale problems were solved in less than 2 hours of CPU. For example, a problem with ten department types, 35 departments, 243 demand scenarios, and 5 part types was solved in 143 minutes of CPU. We should note that since plant layout decisions result in long term commitments, few hours of CPU are generally affordable. For very large problems, a simulation approach, as described in Appendix 1, becomes more appropriate. A simple example that illustrates the various steps in generating a flexible layout is described in Tables 6-11. The manufacturing facility consists of six different department types, 16 individual departments, and 16 department locations organized in a symmetric 4X4 matrix. Rectilinear distances are used to measure distances between different locations. The workload balancing constraint (constraint 7) is in effect. The processing times are assumed to be product independent. Therefore, for a given department, the processing times are the same for all products. There are two product types, with demand for each product type being either high (H), medium (M), or low (L). This results in 9 possible demand scenarios. For each demand

scenario, the best layout and its corresponding cost are calculated. The results are listed in Table 10. The performance of each of these selected layouts is then evaluated under all possible

† A copy of the FLEX-LAYOUT software, along with the source code, is available upon request from the authors.

-17-

scenarios and the expected performance of each layout is calculated. The results are given in Table 11. The layout with the lowest expected material handling cost is then selected. In this case, the lowest expected cost layout, as shown in Figure 2, is the one initially selected for demand scenario 1 (LL). It is interesting to note that the performance differential between each of the selected layouts for the different scenarios is not very significant. This is made evident by the similarity between the different rows of Table 11. We believe that this is due to the highly distributed nature of the generated layouts and to the existing high level of department duplication. Note that departments of the same type are either evenly distributed throughout the layout (in case of multiple copies) or centrally located (in case of a single copy). This high degree of department dispersion results in layouts where it is always possible to find copies of any two departments in relative close proximity. Table 12 contrasts the performance of the distributed layouts we generated for each demand scenario with equivalent functional layouts (i.e., layouts with the same number of departments but where departments of the same type are restricted to be in adjacent locations). It is easy to see that the distributed layouts outperform the functional layouts under all 9 demand scenarios. More importantly, the functional layouts are less robust in the face of variability. A functional layout that performs well under one scenario can, indeed, perform poorly under another. This is illustrated in Table 13, where the values of E(z(L(I)) are shown for both the functional and distributed layouts. Note that while for the distributed layout the values of

E(z(L(I)) vary very little, wider fluctuations are experienced by the functional layouts. Extensive experimentation with both functional and distributed layouts for systems with varying number of products and departments and for varying demand scenarios and levels of department duplication can be found in Benjaafar and Sheikhzadeh [4]. The results largely

confirm the above observations. In particular, we found that the desirability for department duplication and distribution tends to increase with increases in either product demand variability or

-18-

Table 6 Part demands under different states Parts P1 P2 Low 60 80 Medium 90 150 High 180 180

Table 7 Probability of occurrence for different demand states States Low (L) Medium (M) High (H) Probability of occurrence 0.2 0.5 0.3

Table 8 Part Manufacturing Sequences Parts P1 P2 Manufacturing sequence C→A →E→B→D D→C→F→A→B

Table 9 Number of copies per department type Department type A B C D E F Number of department copies 4 (A1, A2, A3, A4) 3 (B1, B2, B3) 3 (C1, C2, C3) 2 (D1, D2) 3 (E1, E2, E3) 1 (F1)

-19-

Table 10 Generated layouts and material handling costs per scenario Scenario LL (1) Scenario probability 0.04 Flow matrix

VAB = 80, VAE = 60 VBD = 60, VCA = 60 VCF = 80, VDC = 80 VEB = 60, VFA = 80 VAB = 150, VAE = 60 VBD = 60, VCA = 60 VCF = 150, VDC = 150 VEB = 60, VFA = 150 VAB = 180, VAE = 60 VBD = 60, VCA = 60 VCF = 180, VDC = 180 VEB = 60, VFA = 180 VAB = 80, VAE = 90 VBD = 90, VCA = 60 VCF = 80, VDC = 80 VEB = 80, VFA = 80 VAB = 150, VAE = 90 VBD = 90, VCA = 90 VCF = 150, VDC = 150 VEB = 90, VFA = 150 VAB = 180, VAE = 90 VBD = 90, VCA = 90 VCF = 180, VDC = 180 VEB = 90, VFA = 180 VAB = 80, VAE = 180 VBD = 180, VCA = 180 VCF = 80, VDC = 80 VEB = 180, VFA = 80 VAB = 150, VAE = 180 VBD = 180, VCA = 180 VCF = 150, VDC = 150 VEB = 180, VFA = 150 VAB = 180, VAE = 180 VBD = 180, VCA = 180 VCF = 180, VDC = 180 VEB = 180, VFA = 180

Selected layout [E1, B2, A1, E2] [A4, E3, C3, B3] [C1, A2, F1, A3] [D2, B1, C2, D1] [E1, B2, A1, E2] [A4, E3, A3, B3] [C1, A2, F1, C3] [D2, B1, C2, D1] [E1, B2, A1, E2] [A4, E3, A3, B3] [C1, A2, F1, C3] [D2, B1, C2, D1] [E1, A2, B2, D1] [C3, F1, A3, C1] [B1, C2, D2, A1] [E2, A4, B3, E3] [D2, C3, B2, D1] [A2, F1, A3, C1] [B1, C2, E1, A1] [E2, A4, B3, E3] [D2, C3, B2, D1] [A2, F1, A3, C1] [B1, C2, E1, A1] [E2, A4, B3, E3] [B2, E1, A3, C2] [E3, B3, E2, A2] [A1, D2, C3, F1] [C1, D1, B1, A4] [D1, B2, E2, C3] [C1, A3, A1, F1] [A4, E3, B1, A2] [E1, B3, D2, C2] [D1, B2, E2, C3] [C1, A3, A1, F1] [A4, E3, B1, A2] [E1, B3, D2, C2]

Material handling cost 620

LM (2)

0.10

935

LH (3)

0.06

1080

ML (4)

0.10

733

MM (5)

0.25

1050

MH (6)

0.15

1185

HL (7)

0.06

1140

HM (8)

0.15

1420

HH (9)

0.09

1560

-20-

Table 11 Expected Material handling costs for selected layouts Scenarios I=1 I=2 I=3 I=4 I=5 I=6 I=7 I=8 I=9 J=1 620 637 637 627 620 620 693 627 627 J=2 955 935 935 1020 955 955 1190 1040 1040 z(L(I),J) J=3 J=4 J=5 1120 770 1050 1080 805 1070 1080 805 1070 1200 733 1100 1120 770 1050 1120 770 1050 1420 783 1240 1240 733 1100 1240 733 1100 J=6 1185 1185 1185 1260 1185 1185 1440 1260 1260 J=7 1290 1343 1343 1157 1290 1290 1140 1150 1150 J=8 1500 1575 1575 1420 1500 1500 1510 1420 1420 J = 9 E(z(L(I)) 1620 1153 1680 1178 1680 1178 1560 1159 1620 1153 1620 1153 1680 1282 1560 1163 1560 1163

Table 12 Material handling cost comparisons between selected functional and distributed layouts for different demand scenarios Scenario LL (I = 1) LM (I = 2) LH (I = 3) ML (I = 4) MH (I = 5) MM (I = 6) HL (I = 7) HM (I = 8) HH (I = 9) Distributed layout 620 935 1080 733 1050 1185 1140 1420 1560 Functional Layout 1043 1515 1740 1333 1750 1935 1977 2015 2220

Table 13 Expected material handling cost comparisons between selected functional and distributed layouts E(z(L(I)) for Distributed layout 1153 1178 1178 1159 1153 1153 1282 1163 E(z(L(I)) for Functional Layout 2398 2424 2604 2098 2124 2624 2547 2547

Scenario I=1 I=2 I=3 I=4 I=5 I=6 I=7 I=8

-21-

I=9

1163

2536

E1 A4 C1 D2

Figure 2

B2 E3 A2 B1

A1 C3 F1 C2

E2 B3 A3 D1

Selected flexible layout

-22-

material handling distances. These results are in line with those recently obtained by Venkatadri et al. [36] in comparing holographic, fractal, and functional layouts. Finally, since there seems to be little difference in performance between the distributed layouts generated for different demand scenarios, it could be argued that there is no need to optimize the layout for each demand scenario. Instead, provided a reasonable amount of

department duplication, any layout where departments are evenly distributed could be used. This would, in fact, greatly simplify our design procedure since the layout would have to generated only once. Only flow allocation would then be optimized for different demand scenarios. This is similar to the approach proposed by Montreuil et al. [20] in the design of holographic layouts where the objective is to simply generate a maximally dispersed layout. Further experimentation is however needed before the general effectiveness of such an approach is established.

4.

**Discussion and Conclusion
**

In this paper, we addressed the problem of designing flexible plant layouts for

manufacturing facilities where product demands are subject to variability. New procedures for designing these layouts were proposed. Both optimal and heuristic solution methods were presented for various design and operation assumptions. The new procedures explicitly account for the stochastic nature of product demands, allow for multiple separate departments of the same type to exist in the same facility, and let material flows between pairs of individual departments be determined simultaneously with department locations. Numerical examples seem to indicate that a distributed layout generally results in a more flexible and robust layout than the one resulting from a functional layout where departments of the same type are restricted to be in neighboring locations. In fact, when department duplication is high, the difference in performance between layouts with a reasonably even distribution of departments is found to be minimal. On the other hand, in the absence of department duplication, the need for carefully selecting the most flexible layout becomes more important and the

-23-

procedures presented here become more valuable. Additional experimentation is, however, needed in order to generalize these observations. As mentioned in the introduction, the disaggregation of functional layouts and the duplication of department types is not a new idea in designing manufacturing layouts. In fact, this forms the corner-stone principle in designing cellular layouts. However, in a truly distributed layout, workload assignments to specific departments are made in real time based on actual demand realizations. This contrasts with workload assignments in cellular layouts, where each cell is dedicated to a specific part family. The dynamic workload assignment in a distributed layout can be carried out, for example, by the creation of virtual cells, where a group of departments is temporarily dedicated to a particular job [8]. This would, of course, necessitate a real time shop floor control mechanism and a flexible material handling system. Several issues still remain to be investigated. In this paper, we showed that some degree of department duplication may be desirable. It is not clear, however, how much duplication is generally needed and/or can be afforded. Methodologies for determining optimal levels of

duplication must thus be developed. The fact that certain departments are duplicated poses also a challenge for workload assignments from period to period. The flow volume allocation procedure described in this paper can certainly be used. However, the procedure must be enriched with additional details regarding tooling, labor, and material handling requirements. Acknowledgments This research is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. DMII9309631 and the University of Minnesota Graduate School. The authors are grateful to Benoit Montreuil and two anonymous referees for many constructive suggestions and comments.

-24-

Appendix 1 The procedure decribed below can be used when part demands are continuously distributed. Monte Carlo simulation is used to generate instances of product demands. The

number of generated instances, or the sample size, must allow the simulation to reach a steady state. Details on constructing Monte Carlo simulations can be found in [14]. An example facility layout procedure using simulation is also given in [11]. Solution procedure: Step 1: Read the distribution for the demand of each product. Step 2: Read the process routing for each product and unit transfer loads. Step 3: Read sample size S (number of scenarios to be evaluated). Step 4: I = 0. Step 5: I = I + 1. If I > S, then go to step 9. Step 6: Generate demand values for each product by Monte Carlo simulation. Step 7: Using demand values, process routings, and unit loads, generate the corresponding flow matrix. Step 8: Generate an optimal layout for the current flow matrix (see section 2 for details). Go back to step 5. Step 9: Evaluate all generated layouts and generate/choose the most flexible one (see section 2 for details). Stop 10. Stop.

-25-

Appendix 2 The following single optimal model may be solved directly for the most flexible layout, if the objective function is to minimize expected material costs:

Ni Nj

Min z = subject to:

p = 1 i = 1 j = 1 ni = 1 mj = 1 k = 1 l = 1

∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑

P

N

N

K

K

π (s)v nim jpsd klx nikx m jl

k=1

∑

N

K

x n ik = 1

Ni

ni = 1i, 2i, …, Ni; i = 1, 2, …, N

(A.1)

i = 1 ni = 1

∑ ∑

P N

x n ik = 1

Ni

k = 1, 2, …, K

(A.2)

p = 1 i = 0 ni = 1

∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑

N Ni Ni Nj

vnim jpstm jp ≤ cmj

m j = 1j, 2j, …, N j; j = 1, 2, …, N, s = 1, 2, …, Smax

(A.3)

vnim jps = v ijps

i, j = 0, 1, …, N; p = 1, 2, …, P, s = 1, 2, …, Smax

(A.4)

ni = 1 mj = 1

i = 0 ni = 1

∑ ∑

v n im jp =

q = 0 rq = 1

∑ ∑

N

Nq

vmjrqp

mj = 1j, 2j, …, Nj; j = 1, 2, …, N; p = 1,2, …, P ni = 1i, 2i, …, Ni; k = 1, 2, …, K

(A.5)

xnik = 0, 1 where:

(A.6)

vnim js: flow volume between nth department of type i and mth department of type j under demand scenario s, and vijs: flow volume between departments of type i and departments of type j under demand scenario s. A heuristic procedure similar to the one described in the main text can be applied to the above model. The problem can be again decomposed into a layout problem and a flow volume allocation

-26-

problem. However, in this case, layout and flow volume allocation decisions are simultaneously evaluated for all scenarios. Similarly, the performance of each layout is evaluated based on its expected material handling cost over all possible demand scenarios.

-27-

References [1] Ang, C. L. and P. C. T. Willey, "A Comparative Study of the Performance of Pure and Hybrid Group Technology Manufacturing Systems Using Computer Simulation Techniques," International Journal of Production Research, 22, 2, 193-233, 1984. [2] Benjaafar, S., "Machine Sharing in Cellular Manufacturing Systems," Planning, Design, and Analysis of Cellular Manufacturing Systems, A. K. Kamrani, H. R. Parasei and D. H. Liles (Editors), Elsevier Science B. V., 1995. [3] Benjaafar, S. and R. Ramakrishnan, "Modeling, Measurement, and Evaluation of Sequencing Flexibility in Manufacturing Systems," International Journal of Production Research, 34, 5, 1195-1220, 1996. [4] Benjaafar, S., A. Soewito and M. Sheikhzadeh, "Performance Evaluation and Analysis of Distributed Plant Layouts," Working Paper, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1995. [5] Bozer, Y. A. and R. D. Meller, "A Reexamination of the Distance-Based Facility Layout Problem," to appear in IIE Transactions. [6] Bullington, S. F. and D. B. Webster, "Evaluating the Flexibility of Facilities Layouts Using Estimated Relayout Costs," Proceedings of the IXth International Conference on Production Research, 2230-2236, 1987. [7] Cooper, L., "Location-Allocation Problems," Operations Research, 11, 2, 331-344, 1963. [8] Drolet, J. R., "Scheduling Virtual Cellular Manufacturing Systems," Ph.D. Thesis, School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1989. [9] Francis, R. L. and J. A. White, Facility Layout and Location: An Analytical Approach, Prentice Hall, 2/E, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1993. [10] Flynn, B. B. and F. R. Jacobs, "A Simulation Comparison of Group Technology with Traditional Job Shop Manufacturing," International Journal of Production Research, 24, 5, 11711192, 1986. [11] Gupta, R. M., "Flexibility in Layouts: A Simulation Approach," Material Flow, 3, 243-250, 1986. [12] Kouvelis, P., A. A. Kurawarwala and G. J. Gutierrez, "Algorithms for Robust Single and Multiple Period Layout Planning for Manufacturing Systems," European Journal of Operational Research, 63, 287-303, 1992. [13] Kusiak A. and S. S. Heragu, "The Facility Layout Problem," European Journal of Operational Research, 27, 229-251, 1987. [14] Law, A. and D. Kelton, Simulation Modeling and Analysis, 2/E, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1994.

-28-

[15] Liao, T. W., "Design of Line Type Cellular Manufacturing Systems for Minimum Operating and Total Material Handling Costs," International Journal of Production Research, 32, 2, 387397, 1993. [16] Meller, R. and K. Y. Gau, "The Facility Layout Problem: Recent and Emerging Trends and Perspectives," Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 15, 5, 351-366, 1996. [17] Montreuil, B., "A Modelling Framework for Integrating Layout Design and Flow Network Design," Proceedings of the Material Handling Research Colloquium, 43-58, Hebron, Kentucky, 1990. [18] Montreuil, B. and A. Laforge, "Dynamic Layout Design given a Scenario Tree of Probable Futures," European Journal of Operational Research, 63, 2, 271-286, 1992. [19] Montreuil, B. and U. Venkatadri, "Strategic Interpolative Design of Dynamic Manufacturing Systems Layout," Management Science, 37, 6, 682-694, 1991. [20] Montreuil, B., Venkatadri, U. and P. Lefrançois, "Holographic Layout of Manufacturing Systems," Technical Report No. 91-76, Faculty of Management, Laval University, Québec, Canada, 1991. [21] Montreuil, B., Venkatadri, U. and R. Rardin, "The Fractal Layout Organization for Job Shop Environments," Technical Report No. 95-13, School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1995. [22] Pardalos, P. M. and H. Wolkowicz (Editors), Quadratic Assignment and Related Problems, DIMACS Series, Vol. 16, American Mathematical Society, 1994. [23] Palekar, U. S., Batta, R., Bosch, R. M. and S. Elhence, "Modeling Uncertainties in Plant Layout Problems," European Journal of Operational Research, 63, 347-359, 1997. [24] Rosenblatt, M. J. and D. H. Kropp, "The Single Period Stochastic Plant layout Problem," IIE Transactions, 24, 2, 169-76, 1992. [25] Rosenblatt, M. J. and H. Lee, "A Robustness Approach to Facilities Design," International Journal of Production Research, 25, 4, 479-486, 1987. [26] Sarper, H. and T. J. Greene, "Comparison of Equivalent Pure Cellular and Functional Production Environments Using Simulation," International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 6, 4, 221-236, 1993. [27] Sethi, A. K. and S. P. Sethi, 1990, "Flexibility in Manufacturing: A survey," The International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, 2, 289-328. [28] Shafer, S. M. and J. M. Charnes, "Cellular Versus Functional Layout under a Variety of Shop Operating Conditions," Decision Sciences, 36, 2, 333-342, 1988. [29] Shore, R. H. and J. A. Tompkins, "Flexible Facilities Design," AIIE Transactions, 12, 2, 200-205, 1980. [30] Schrage, L., User's Manual for Lindo, Scientific Press, 1991. [31] Stecke, K. E. and N. Raman, 1995, "FMS Planning Decisions, Operating Flexibilities, and System Performance," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 42, 1, 82-89. -29-

[32] Suresh, S. C., "Partitioning Work Centers for Group Technology: Analytical Extension and Shop-Level Simulation Investigation," Decision Sciences, 23, 267-290, 1992. [33] Tompkins, J. A., "Modularity and Flexibility: Dealing with Future Shock in Facilities Design," Industrial Engineering,, September, 78-81 1980. [34] Tompkins, J. A., and J. D. Spain, "Utilization of Spine Concept Maximizes Modularity in Facilities Planning," Industrial Engineering,, March, 34-42, 1983. [35] Venkatadri, U., Rardin, R. and B. Montreuil, "A Design Methodology for the Fractal Layout Organization," Technical Report No. 95-14, School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1995. [36] Venkatadri, U., R. L. Rardin and B. Montreuil, "Facility Organization and Layout Design: An Experimental Comparison for Job Shops," Technical Report No. 96-27, Faculty of Management, Laval University, Québec, Canada, 1996. [37] Vollmann, T. E. and E. S. Buffa, "The Facilities Layout Problem in Perspective," Management Science, 12, 10, 450-468, 1966. [38] Webster, D. B. and M. B. Tyberghein, "Measuring Flexibility of Job Shop layouts," International Journal of Production Research, 18, 1, 21-29, 1980. [39] Wemmerlöv, U. and L. N. Hyer, "Cellular Manufacturing in the U.S. Industry: A Survey of Users," International Journal of Production Research, 27, 9, 1511-1530, 1989.

-30-

Sign up to vote on this title

UsefulNot useful- Acetaldehyde Plant 2520Location&Layout
- Global Enabling Trade Report 2009
- art_10.1023_A_1018962703587
- pr_l5
- OperationAnalysis.ppt
- lec36
- Stpm Trial 2009 Maths2 Q&A (n9)
- Automated Systems
- prod unit 2
- FEMConvergence.pdf
- Chapter_4 Enggng Math
- Engr 0020 Exam 1 Equations
- MTL hndling.docx
- JEEE_2008_61_Scheianu_1
- On the Shapley Prevalue for Fuzzy Cooperative Games(Last Version)
- Student Centered Learning
- TYPES OF PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
- forelesn.kap5
- image processing verilog
- apj_fourplusone
- ae_A5b
- MILP model for HEN Retrofit(Barbaro et al)-05.pdf
- 10-6 the Binomial Theorem
- Chapter 7 Series Arithmetic Progression
- Overall Summary for a Level Maths 1_2
- 39 MovGen (TS2007)
- Class Lecture 17
- MIT2_854F10_control.pdf
- 05518774 Performance Analysis of Two-Tier Femtocell Networks with Outage Constraints.pdf
- New Conjectures Related to Sum of Powers
- Design of Flexible Plant Layouts (www.chemicalebooks.com)

Are you sure?

This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

We've moved you to where you read on your other device.

Get the full title to continue

Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.