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Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 www.elsevier.

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Facility layout problems: A survey
Amine Drira a,b,*, Henri Pierreval a, Sonia Hajri-Gabouj b
a

´ canique Avance ´ e, Campus des Ce ´ zeaux, BP 265, F-63175 Aubie ` re Cedex, France LIMOS, UMR CNRS 6158, IFMA, Institut Franc ¸ais de Me b ´ es et de Technologie, Centre Urbain Nord, BP 676, 1080 Tunis, Tunisia URAII, INSAT, Institut National des Sciences Applique Received 14 January 2007; accepted 4 April 2007 Available online 5 November 2007

Abstract Layout problems are found in several types of manufacturing systems. Typically, layout problems are related to the location of facilities (e.g., machines, departments) in a plant. They are known to greatly impact the system performance. Most of these problems are NP hard. Numerous research works related to facility layout have been published. A few literature reviews exist, but they are not recent or are restricted to certain specific aspects of these problems. The literature analysis given here is recent and not restricted to specific considerations about layout design. We suggest a general framework to analyze the literature and present existing works using such criteria as: the manufacturing system features, static/dynamic considerations, continual/discrete representation, problem formulation, and resolution approach. Several research directions are pointed out and discussed in our conclusion. # 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Manufacturing facility; Facility layout; Material handling; Dynamic layout; Optimization methods

1. Introduction The placement of the facilities in the plant area, often referred to as ‘‘facility layout problem’’, is known to have a significant impact upon manufacturing costs, work in process, lead times and productivity. A good placement of facilities contributes to the overall efficiency of operations and can reduce until 50% the total operating expenses (Tompkins et al., 1996). Simulation studies are often used to measure the benefits and performance of given layouts (Aleisa & Lin, 2005). Unfortunately, layout problems are known to be complex and are generally NP-Hard (Garey & Johnson, 1979). As a consequence, a tremendous amount of research has been carried out in this area during the last decades. A few surveys have been published to review the different trends and research directions in this area. However, these surveys are either not recent (Hassan, 1994; Kusiak & Heragu, 1987; Levary & Kalchik, 1985), or focus on a very specific aspect of layout

design, such as loop layouts (Asef-Vaziri & Laporte, 2005), dynamic problems (Balakrishnan & Cheng, 1998) and design through evolutionary approaches (Pierreval, Caux, Paris, & Viguier, 2003). Benjaafar, Heragu, and Irani (2002) conducted a prospective analysis and suggested research directions. Our conclusion will show that several of their research propositions remain valid but other issues can also be raised. In this article, we present a recent survey about layout problems based on numerous literature references. First, in Section 2, we consider several possible definitions of layout problems. Then, we propose a general framework that can be used to analyze the current literature. Section 3 distinguishes the major features of the workshops that can be found. In Section 4, emphasis is put on so called dynamic problems. Section 5 discusses how facility layout problems can be formulated. In Section 6, we are interested in the approaches that are used to solve these problems. Although this review cannot be exhaustive, it has been conducted from a large number of literature references. 2. Definition of layout problems A facility layout is an arrangement of everything needed for production of goods or delivery of services. A facility is an entity that facilitates the performance of any job. It may be a

* Corresponding author at: URAII, INSAT, Institut National des Sciences ´ es et de Technologie, Centre Urbain Nord, BP 676, 1080 Tunis, Applique Tunisia. Tel.: +216 71703829; fax: +216 71704329. E-mail addresses: Amine.Drira@ifma.fr (A. Drira), Henri.Pierreval@ifma.fr (H. Pierreval), Sonia.Gabouj@insat.rnu.tn (S. Hajri-Gabouj). 1367-5788/$ – see front matter # 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.arcontrol.2007.04.001

In Cellular layout. 2004). the number of floors on which the machines can be assigned. robots. Product layout is used for systems with high production volumes and a low variety of products. etc. In fact. the rest of this article is organized in accordance with this representation and with the most important features identified. wheel). namely fixed product layout. an upper bound aiu and a lower bound ail such that ail  ai  aiu. Process layout groups facilities with similar functions together (resources of the same type). its aspect ratio: ai = Li/Wi. When dealing with a material handling system. 1997). Several factors and design issues clearly differentiate the nature of the problems to be addressed. Koopmans and Beckmann (1957) were among the first to consider this class of problems. the problems addressed in research works differ. process layout.. the material handling system. 2): regular. Meller. (1999).. Facility shapes and dimensions Two different facility shapes are often distinguished (Fig. Four types of organization are referred to in existing articles.g. what is the problem addressed (e. such as ships or aircrafts. Tompkins et al. product layout and cellular layout (Dilworth. Pereira Barretto. The most encountered formulations are related to static layout problems (in opposition to the dynamic layout problems that will be specifically discussed in Section 3). 3. the facilities are called fixed or rigid blocks. The type of material-handling device determines the pattern to be used . Two dependent design problems are considered: finding the facility layout and selecting the handling equipment. Drira et al. Workshop characteristics impacting the layout Several types of workshop are addressed in the literature. 3.. 1992. this corresponds to the fixed shape blocks case (Chwif et al. specificities of the manufacturing systems. In Fixed product layout. etc.e. generally polygons containing at least a 2708 angle (Lee & Kim. ail. to process families of similar parts. and the layout evolution). a first possible rough tree representation of the different factors taken into account in the literature. Consequently.2. these factors are detailed below. Due to their importance. which can be bounded to the length or width of site area in a way to minimize the total material handling cost and slack area cost. and they defined the facility layout problem as a common industrial problem in which the objective is to configure facilities. According to the same authors. the available space among a given number of facilities. Narayanan. in particular: the production variety and volume. 1996). Lee and Lee (2002) reported that the facility layout problem consists in arranging n unequal-area facilities of different sizes within a given total space. 1992). In order to highlight what seems to constitute essential features to characterize layout problems. 1. depending on such factors as: the workshop characteristics (e. machines are grouped into cells. a machine shop. This type of layout is commonly found in industries that manufacture large size products. Here. 2000) and irregular. (El-Baz. Azadivar and Wang (2000) defined that the facility layout problem as the determination of the relative locations for. one is concerned with finding the best arrangement of machines in each cell.e. we have found it helpful in characterizing existing research works. and Moscato (1998) a facility can have given dimensions.3. the product does not move. 1998). These key organizations are sometimes discussed differently according to the authors. so as to minimize the cost of transporting materials between them. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 machine tool. and Vance (1999) considered that the facility layout problem consists in finding a non-overlapping planar orthogonal arrangement of n rectangular facilities within a given rectangular plan site so as to minimize the distance based measure. a work centre. roller. i. Facilities are organized according to the sequence of the successive manufacturing operations. workers. the different possible flows allowed for parts. This organization is often reported to be suited when there is a wide variety of product. automated guided vehicles (AGV). a warehouse. the problem consists in arranging facilities along the material handling path. the facility shapes and the pickup and drop-off locations. In this case. i.. and allocation of. 3) and (Hamann & Vernadat. objectives and constraints) and the approaches used to solve it (Resolution approaches). The aspect ratio was also used by Meller et al. As mentioned by Chwif. a manufacturing cell. in this particular type of layout. In fact. problem formulation. etc. a facility can also be defined by its area.1. the products generally circulate within the production facilities (machines. (1996) estimated that 20–50% of the manufacturing costs are due to the handling of parts and then a good arrangement of handling devices might to reduce them for 10–30%.).256 A. Due to the variety of considerations found in the articles. Material handling equipment can be conveyors (belt.g. the layout problems addressed are strongly dependent on the specific features of manufacturing systems studied. the material handling system chosen. These cells also need to be placed on the factory floor. Although this tree representation can probably be improved in future research works. a department. it is the different resources that are moved to perform the operations on the product. researchers do not agree about a common and exact definition of layout problems. the facility shapes. we propose in Fig. 3. If ai = ail = aiu. Products variety and volume The layout design generally depends on the products variety and the production volumes. Shayan and Chittilappilly (2004) defined the facility layout problem as an optimization problem that tries to make layouts more efficient by taking into account various interactions between facilities and material handling systems while designing layouts. Therefore. Numerous articles have been published in this area. Material handling systems A material handling system ensures the delivery of material to the appropriate locations. 3. defined by a fixed length (Li) and a fixed width (Wi). ch. as mentioned for example in (Proth. one is also generally concerned with so called intra cells machine layout problems. (Heragu. generally rectangular (Kim & Kim. 2000).

. Drira et al. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 257 Fig.A. Tree representation of the layout problems. 1.

2000. The multi-rows layout involves several rows of facilities (Hassan. so that the related problems are referred to as multi-floor layout problems (Kochhar & Heragu. 1998). The movements of parts occur between facilities from the same row and from different rows (Chen. Elevators are often the material handling system reported (Lee. Given the difficulty of solving both problems jointly. Brezocnick.. Nearchou. Backtracking and bypassing. 2002. multi-rows layout. Kumar. 1994. Kouvelis Fig. Backtracking is the movement of a part. . as depicted in Fig. In such situations.. Heragu & Kusiak. Kim. Roh. & Yoshimoto. 5. 2005). 2005). Backtracking and bypassing Backtracking and bypassing (see Fig. The limitation of available horizontal space creates a need to use a vertical dimension of the workshop. & Balic. Layout design considering material handling devices. Regular and irregular facility shapes. from one facility to another preceding it in the sequence of facilities in the flow-line arrangement (Braglia. which impact the flow of the products. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 Fig. 1996). 1998. Meller. The number of floors can be known (Lee et al. Ficko et al. Takashi. Meller & Bozer. Peters. loop layout and open-field layout (Yang. it can be relevant to locate the facilities on several floors. . 2001). & Bobbie. 5) are two particular movements that can occur in flow-line layouts. 2005). 4. Multi-floor layout Nowadays. Multi-floor layout. for the layout of machine (Devise & Pierreval. 3. Wu.. Fig. i. & Chen. The loop layout problem deals with the assignment of m facilities to candidate locations 1. the capacity of each elevator was considered as a constraint. 3.. & Tu. The loop layout incorporates a Load/Unload (L/U) station. they are mainly solved sequentially (Hassan. 1988). 1999). 1996. 1999). Wang. Kim. around which parts are transported in one direction (Chaieb. 1994). & Jeong. m. Cheng. Cheng & Gen. Drira et al.5. . semicircular or U-shape (Hassan. . 1996. when it comes to construct a factory in urban area. Their number and location are either known (Lee et al. but also from one floor to another floors located at a different level (vertical flow direction). 2004. 1996. as depicted in Fig. In (Matsuzaki et al. 2001. This figure shows that parts can move horizontally on a given floor (horizontal flow direction). The single row layout problem occurs when facilities have to be placed along a line (Djellab & Gourgand.. Potts & Whitehead. 1995). 1997). such as straight line. Fig. Gen. 2002). 2001. Ficko.. Then.258 A. Among the major types of layout arrangement based on the type of material handling. one can distinguish. The open field layout corresponds to situations where facilities can be placed without the restrictions or constraints that would be induced by such arrangements as single row or loop layout (Yang et al. 1996. Later. & Tosawa.e. land supply is generally insufficient and expensive. 3: single row layout. 3. in a closed ring network. Several shapes may be considered from this basic situation. 2005) or to be determined. 2004. 2006. location from which a part enters and leaves the loop. The vertical movement of parts requires a vertical transportation device: elevator. & Erlebacher.. Co. 1994). 4. 2. Johnson (1982) seems to be among the firsts to address a multiple-floor layout problem. other researchers focused on taking into consideration vertical movements of parts from one floor to another (Bozer. & Reisman (1989) also pointed out that the facility layout impacts the selection of the handling device. 2005) or to be determined through optimization (Matsuzaki. depending on each floor area and on the number and dimensions of the facilities (Patsiatzis & Papageorgiou. Hadjinicola. He dealt with the problem of defining relative locations of facilities in a multiple-floor building.. & Lin. Kim et al. both the position on the floor and the levels have to be determined for each facility.4. This station is unique and it is assumed to be located between position m and 1. 1994).

Gupta and Seifoddini (1990) stated that 1/3 of USA companies undergo major reorganization of the production facilities every 2 years. Drira et al. Static vs. 1995. Zhou. & Takefuji. production volume and product mix. An example is given in Fig. 2003. 1998. Formulation of layout problems The workshop characteristics and the static or dynamic issues being raised. 2003. for all periods. Cheng. dynamic layout problems We have seen that the workshop characteristics introduce differences in the way to design the layout. Fig. & Zavanella. These models are generally used to suggest solutions to the layout problems. 1992) or neural network (Tsuchiya. Zanoni. Recently the idea of dynamic layout problems has been introduced by several researchers. In such a case. or years. Fig. Kurawarwala. Discrete and continual layout representations. 7 shows a layout with six equal size locations to be arranged in each of the four periods in the planning horizon. Example of P/D points of a machine with a regular shape. 1992. Proth. there are several ways of formulating mathematically the layout problems so that they can be solved. Braglia. 2001). which consists in determining the orders (partial or total) of machines so as to minimize the weighted sum of arrows whose direction is contrary to the global flow of products. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 259 & Chiang. et al.. Zhou (1998) called this problem Production Line Formation Problem (PLFP). 5. Most articles dealing with layout problems are implicitly considered as static. & Lau. Page (1991) reported that. Cheng. The objective can be to determine a layout for each period in the planning horizon. the formulations found in the literature can lead to Quadratic Assignment Problems (QAP) or Mixed Integer Programmings (MIP). 5. Rearrangement costs have to be considered when facilities need to be moved from one location to another (Baykasoglu & Gindy. 1993). & Yang. Pick-up and drop-off locations It is often necessary to determine the location from which parts enter and leave facilities. which most researchers consider as optimization problems. each layout being associated with a period. 6. 1992. it is well known that nowadays. 2001). Leung. Although they can potentially be located at various places (Kim & Kim. 3. A good number of authors have tried to take such an important issue into account when designing the layout.A. Baykasoglu. 4. the change in product mix yields to modify the production flow and thus affects the layout. while taking into account constraints on the rank of machines. several researchers restricted their possible position to reduce the complexity (Das. the associated optimization problem is sometimes addressed as QAP. In this respect. Heragu. Welgama & Gibson. However. on average. 2006). & Zijm. A layout plan for the dynamic layout problem consists of series of layouts. 7. with either single or multiple objectives. 1996). and the sum of the rearrangement costs between time periods (Balakrishnan.6. 2003. while minimizing the sum of the material handling costs. months. 6. 1993. Bharitkar. 8a). the planning horizon is generally divided into periods that may be defined in weeks. 2000). Kouvelis. manufacturing plants must be able to respond quickly to changes in demand. In each case. Such models can rely on different principles. 2004). . which allow the complex relationships between the different elements involved in a layout problem to be expressed. Dereli. 8. Meng. 1998). Discrete formulation The layout is sometimes considered as discrete (Fig. Conway.1. Hassan (1994) noticed that several procedures were presented for dealing with and minimizing backtracking but no procedure was suggested in the literature for addressing bypassing. For each period. the estimated flow data remains constant. The number of these movements has to be minimized. which are the most commonly encountered. & Sabuncu. Rajasekharan. Bypassing occurs when a part skips some facilities during its moving towards the flow line arrangement (Chen et al. and each block is assigned Fig. discrete or continuous. that is. called Pick-up and Drop-off (P/ D) points. In addition. Fig. Depending on the manner in which the problem is formulated. These approaches are discussed in the following. Evolution of the layout over four periods.. Dynamic layout problems take into account possible changes in the material handling flow over multiple periods (Balakrishnan. Conway. Peters. 40% of a company’s sales come from new products. This formulation of static and dynamic layout problems can be based on several types of models. The plant site is divided into rectangular blocks with the same area and shape. in other words they assume that the key data about the workshop and what it is intended to produce will remain constant enough over a long period of time. a few authors have argued that the available data could not be perfectly known and have suggested fuzzy formulation. & Gutierrez. which include graph theory (Kim & Kim. 1992.

which require the total area available to be superior or equal to the sum of all the facility areas. I O I d i j ¼ jxO i À x j j þ jyi À y j j (5) O where (xO i . yIj ) the coordinates of the pick-up point of facility j.. 1997).260 A. Another very important constraint is that facilities must not overlap. & Venkataramanan. Westka The pick-up and drop-off points can generate constraints in the layout problem formulation (Kim & Kim. 2006). & Kuppusamy. In this case. N (3) where N is the number of facilities in the layout. A typical formulation. If facilities have unequal areas. the number of times a part traverses the loop before all its operations are completed. Budget constraints can be added to carry out the reconfiguration of facilities on the floor plant (Balakrishnan. . 2001. they can occupy different blocks (Wang. In fact. Shang. The clearance between facilities can be included or not in the facility surface (Braglia. Lacksonen & Enscore. and Aiello.yi). 1993) and must respect constraints ensuring that each location is assigned to only one facility at each period. which are needed to operate the machine (Lacksonen. Discrete representation of the layout is commonly used for dynamic layout problems. djl the distance from location j to l and Xij the 0. for example. 1999). yi Þ. Cheng et al. so as to minimize the traffic congestion. can for example. i. & ¨ mpera. 2006). 2005. N (2) X i j ¼ 1. 1993. Lacksonen. yi ) designate the coordinates of the drop-off point of facility i. . Welgama and Gibson (1993) set two conditions for the non-overlapping of facilities: condition of X-projection nonoverlapping and condition of Y-projection non-overlapping: ðx jt À xib Þðx jb À xit Þ  0 ðy jt À yib Þðy jb À yit Þ  0 (6) (7) where (xit. half length li and half width wi or by the coordinates of bottom-left corner. McKendall. .. 1997). . N X i ¼1 N X j ¼1 N X N X N X N X i¼1 j¼1 k¼1 l¼1 5. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 to a facility (Fruggiero. 2005). 1996. It is often addressed as Mixed Integer Programming Problems (Das. Cheng. Radonsb. by Kouvelis and Chiang (1992) and Braglia (1996) to minimize part backtrack in single row layouts. 1988. Enea. Obviously. Discrete representations are not suited to represent the exact position of facilities in the plant site and can not model appropriately specific constraints as the orientation of facilities. the rearrangement costs must not exceed a certain level of the budget. 1993).. Yang et al. Drira et al. 2006). Kim and Kim (1999). 1993. is as follows (Balakrishnan. Continual formulation In many articles. a continuous representation is found to be more relevant by several authors (Das. yit) and (xib. and Galante (2002). 1 variable for locating facility i at location j. when determining the relative locations of facilities so as to minimize the total material handling cost. The objective function (1) represents the sum of the flow costs over every pair of facilities. ðx j . Heragu & Kusiak. (5) (Kim & Kim. The same type of approach is also used by Afentakis (1989). Robert Jacobs. & Negri. 2000. yib) are the top-left and the bottom right corners of the facility i and (xjt. (3) guarantees that each facility is placed only in one location.2. length Li and width Wi of the facility. yjt) and (xjb. pick-up and drop-off points or clearance between facilities. and that exactly one facility is assigned to each location at each period (Baykasoglu & Gindy. & Ku. 1998): d i j ððxi . yjb) are the top-left and the bottom right corners of the facility j. 2005). Eq. Meller et al.. 2001. Lambiase. Discrete formulations are suggested. . j ¼ 1. The problems addressed are related to equal size facilities (Baykasoglu & Gindy. Welgama & Gibson. . 2003): min s. 1993. Hu. Nearchou. The distance between two facilities can be. In such cases. . area constraints on the plant site exist. the layout representation is continual (Fig.t.. the distance traveled by a part from the drop-off of facility i to the pick-up of facility j. There are two kinds of congestion measures commonly used in loop layout design: Min-Sum and Min-Max. 2005.. while a Min-Max problem attempts to minimize the maximum congestion among a family of parts (Cheng & Gen. Baykasoglu et al. for example. i ¼ 1. Dunker. and (xIj . The facilities in the plant site are located either by their centroid coordinates (xi. 1998. 2006). addressed for example by Chittratanawat and Noble (1999). The layout optimization problem is expressed as follows: Minimize objective function Subject to Ai j  0 (8) . f ik the flow cost from facility i to k. 2000). to design a loop layout. 1996. 1991). be given by Eq. & Wong. 8b). The area allocated to each machine on the floor plan must also take into account the space of other resources or buffers.e. expressed through the rectilinear norm (Chwif et al. Mir and Imam (2001) defined an overlap area Aij between two facilities to formulate this constraint. All the facilities are placed anywhere within the planar site and must not overlap each other (Das. .. (2) ensures that each location contains only one facility and Eq. 1992. A Min-Sum problem attempts to minimize the total congestion of all parts. y j ÞÞ ¼ jxi À x j j þ jyi À y j j (4) f ik d jl X i j X kl (1) X i j ¼ 1. The determination of the best locations of the P/D stations is a specific problem. Dunker et al.

Gen.3. 5. . Dunker et al. Multi-objective layout problems In most articles about layout problems. (xO i . These relations allow the analyst to specify the importance associated with each pair of facilities to be located at any distance from each other. the supervision relationships.. along a single row configuration. Ida. the amount of parts circulating between facilities.4. 1992. the amount of communications between facilities (information flow) and the number of material handling equipments used to transfer parts between facilities are considered as fuzzy factors. and Galante (2006) dealt with a layout problem related to the minimization of the material handling cost and the maximization of an adjacency function (assessment of the proximity requests between two departments). Yang & Kuo. Most authors combine the different objectives into a single one either by means of Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology (Harmonosky & Tothero. The set of non-dominated solutions is then found and a ‘‘best’’ solution is then selected from this set using the well known ‘Electre method’. (2005) addressed unequal size layout problems in a dynamic environment and assumed that the facility sizes vary from one period to another. y j ) are the coordinates of pick-up point of facility j.g. The data impacting the layout. Fuzzy logic has been proposed to handle the imprecision or uncertainty that is often encountered (Evans. 1987a. W i Þ are the length and width of facility i.. 1991). The authors developed an Activity Relationship Chart (ARC) based on the judgment of experts that is used to specify relationships between each pair of facilities. 2005).yi) are coordinates of facility i. some researchers have considered more than a single objective. The authors developed a fuzzy decision support system based on a set of fuzzy IF–THEN rules. Deb and Bhattacharyya (2005). The authors proposed a fuzzy formulation of the problem through linguistic variables and propose a heuristic. such as the use of queuing networks (Meng et al. 1987b) tacked the problem of locating n facilities to n fixed locations so as to minimize the total material handling cost. 2003) or using a linear combination of the different objectives (Chen & Sha. In Dweiri and Meier (1996). such as closeness links and traffic intensity. and (xi. A construction heuristic is then used do determine the placement of facilities in the plant site. They minimize the total material handling cost. who dealt with a discrete facility layout problem. Few researchers used a Pareto approach to generate a set of non-dominated solutions.. Given such constraints.). To be more realistic. etc. based on binary fuzzy relations. high. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 261 where Ai j ¼ li j ðDX i j ÞðDY i j Þ. 5. Drira et al. Evans et al. Very few works seem to deal with dynamic layout problems with a continuous representation. Grobelny. which are characterized through linguistic variables. the travel time. 2005). the travel distance. They expressed relations between every pair of facilities by fuzzy relations describing closeness and importance. under the constraints that the capacity of production for each department is limited. ARC is then integrated in the well known heuristic ‘CORELAP’ to find the best placement of facilities. Aiello. data affecting layout problems are not exactly known. For example. medium. Dweiri and Meier (1996) aimed at minimizing simultaneously the material handling flow and the equipment flow and the information flow. addressed the placement of facilities with pick-up and drop-off points in a continual plane. Enea. they split the fuzzy demands in a-cuts and determine the a-level fuzzy cost for each possible layout. and (x j . The position of facilities depends on such factors as: the personal flow. the environmental relationships and the information relationships. are fuzzy and modeled with linguistic variables and fuzzy implications. is developed for the selection and the placement of facilities in the available locations. 1987. 2  À1 for DX i j  0 and DY i j  0 li j ¼ þ1 otherwise ðLi .   Li þ L j DX i j ¼ li j À jxi À x j j. and is therefore considered as fuzzy. f ij the amount/cost of material flow from drop-off point of facility i to pick-up O point of facility j. Aiello and Enea (2001) argued that the product market demands are uncertain data that can be defined as fuzzy numbers. (1987) addressed the placement of unequal size facilities on the plant area. the main objective is to minimize a function related to the travel of parts (the total material handling cost. which are rated using linguistic variables (e. Raoot & Rakshit. Several principles of this approach are also used by Raoot and Rakshit (1991). & Karwowsky. a typical formulation of the optimization problem can be as follows: Minimize C ¼ N X N X i¼1 j¼1 I O f i j ðjxIj À xO i j þ jy j À yi jÞ (9) where N is the number of facilities. A few approaches based on fuzzy concepts exist to design layouts. yi ) the coordinates of drop-off point of I I facility i. and Cheng (1995) addressed a multiobjective multi-rows layout problem with unequal area. They are interested in situations where the clearance cannot be precisely defined.A. 2004) are seldom seen. so as to minimize the total material handling cost. Stochastic approaches. such as a pre-defined orientation of certain facilities (Dunker et al. Grobelny (1987a. who considered the problem of finding the best arrangement on the plant site of facilities based on specifications about their inter-relationship. Other constraints can also be considered in the layout formulation. Wilhlem. 2   Wi þ W j DY i j ¼ li j À jyi À y j j. low). A heuristic procedure. Fuzzy formulation In many concrete cases. To solve a single row layout problem.

Kumar. based on an acyclic sub-graph structure. which consists in randomly changing the location of two facilities while the solution is improved. . Two neighborhood procedures are proposed: a pairwise exchange between facilities and random moves on the planar site in the four main directions (upwards. SHAPE (Hassan. For example. Wong. Construction approaches build progressively the sequence of the facilities until the complete layout is obtained whereas improvement methods start from one initial solution and they try to improve the solution with producing new solution. & Sundaram. More recently. Authors suggested a branch and bound algorithm to find an optimal location of the P/D points of each facility. 1996). Drira et al. 1963). and Balakrishnan and Cheng (2000). numerous researchers have developed heuristics and metaheuristics. 1976). / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 5. Appleton (2002). Gupta. ALDEP (Seehof & Evans. Construction heuristics include: CORELAP (Lee & Moore. Wu and ¨ mpera (2003). & Chan (1998). proposed in (Heragu & Kusiak. They proposed general classes of valid inequalities. A slicing tree is composed of internal nodes partitioning the floor plan and of external nodes representing the facilities. which satisfies certain constraints given by the decision maker or at searching for an global or local optimum solutions given one or several performance objectives.5. 2004). Cheng. such as branch and bound. McKendall et al. Hamann and Vernadat (1992) also used this approach for intra-cell problems. Chwif et al. such as heuristics and metaheuristics. Each internal node can be labeled either h (horizontal) or v (vertical). Simultaneous solving of different problems It is common that other problems have to be solved together with the layout design. we distinguish: exact methods. it is sometimes possible to address these two issues as a same problem (Gupta. 2. and Dunker et al.1. Approximated approaches Since exact approaches are often found not to be suited for large size problems.. an intensification criteria and diversification strategies. 1967) and COFAD (Tompkins & Reed. A popular representation of the continual layout is the slicing tree (Shayan & Chittilappilly. 6. 1967). The objective of the problem is to minimize the total distance of material flows between the P/D points. 1999). 3. Meller et al. The first simulated annealing approach used a neighborhood based on a descent pairwise exchange method. Mak. & Smith. 1990). Each rectangular partition corresponds to a space allocated to a facility. (2003). for example.. They used a neighborhood based on the exchange of two locations of facilities and included a long term memory structure. Conway. In the following. In fact. only small problem instances have been solved optimally (six facilities and five time periods). Azadivar and Wang (2000). 2003). This has yield heuristic based methods or optimization algorithms. A very important problem when developing a genetic algorithm is related to the coding of a candidate floor plan. where one has both to assign machines to cells (cell formation problems) and to determine the position of each machine in the cell (intra cell layout). and approximated approaches. (2006) suggested two simulated annealing approaches for a dynamic layout problem with equal size facilities. to increase the range of solvable problems and use them in a branch-and-bound algorithm. They aim either at finding good solutions. 6. Hogg. (1998) used a simulated annealing algorithm to solve the layout problem with aspect ratio facilities sizes. Rosenblatt (1986) used a dynamic programming method to solve a dynamic layout problem with equal size facilities. downwards. Radonsb. Expert systems were. as explained in the following of this section. 1987). this occurs when designing cellular manufacturing systems. (2005) for the dynamic layout problems. . Chiang and Kouvelis (1996) developed a tabu search algorithm to solve a facility layout problem. The second approach combines the first simulated annealing algorithm and improvement strategy called ‘‘look-ahead and look-back strategy’’. Dunker. Kim and Kim (1999) addressed the problem of finding P/D locations on fixed size facilities for a given layout. 1986). n for n facilities). an expert system based on artificial neural networks was implemented for facility layout construction in a manufacturing system (Chung.262 A. leftwards and rightward). Genetic algorithms seem to become quite popular in solving facility layout problems (Pierreval et al. et al. . a large number of studies using such approaches have been published: see Banerjee and Zhou (1995). Several types of optimization approaches have been proposed in the literature. (1999) also used this approach to solve the problem of placing n rectangular facilities within a given rectangular available area. Among the approaches based on metaheuristics. Kouvelis and Kim (1992) developed a branch and bound algorithm for the unidirectional loop layout problem. Instead of formulating and solving these problems sequentially. FRAT (Khalil. Example of improvement heuristics are: CRAFT (Armour & Buffa. Fig. (2005) for the static layout problems. The position of each cell in the floor plant has also to be determined. Exact approaches Among articles that dealt with exact methods. one can distinguish global search methods (Tabu search and simulated annealing) and evolutionary approaches (genetic and ant colony algorithms). a dynamic tabu list size. Resolution approaches Several approaches exist to address the different types of problems that are formulated in the literature. However. indicating whether it is a horizontal or vertical slice whereas external nodes label the facility index (1. & Westka and Wang et al. . 1973) and DISCON (Drezner. 9 shows a particular layout and the corresponding slicing tree.2. 6. Some attempts of using artificial intelligent approaches have been made to address layout problems. Balakrishnan. Tam and Chan (1998).

The problem of avoiding reparation procedures when dealing with slicing trees is tackled by Shayan and Chittilappilly (2004). Slicing tree representation of the floor plan. (2005) encoded the chromosome’s genes through five segments strings. (2006) proposed an ant colony algorithm for solving the unconstrained and budget constrained dynamic layout problems. Wu and Appleton (2002) suggested a slicing tree to represent simultaneously the layout and the aisles and adapted genetic operators. Tabu search and simulated annealing are first used to find global solutions and the genetic algorithm is introduced in the middle of the local search process to search for a global solution. The second gives the required areas of each department. 10). Although this survey cannot be exhaustive. to ensure the coherence of an offspring. They used a simulated annealing algorithm to solve the geometrical aspect of the problem. the area required for each facility and the width of each sweeping band. in order to use particular genetic operators. Starting from an initial solution given by a simulated annealing algorithm. Al-Hakim (2000) improved Tam Chan’s approach (1998) and proposed a new operator named ‘transplanting’. a genetic algorithm to make decisions about the material handling system and an exact method (Hitchcock’s method) to minimize the total material handling utilization cost. and Portman (1998) proposed a hybrid approach for minimizing the material handling cost. Conway. Ant colony optimization has been recently applied for solving layout problems. the operators and the operands (Tam & Chan.. and latter in three parts: the tree structure. encoding the sequence of facilities. simulation models have been connected to evolutionary methods to evaluate the candidate solutions (Azadivar & Wang. Lee and Lee (2002) presented a hybrid genetic algorithm for a fixed shape and unequal area facility layout problem. (2) a simulated annealing algorithm and (3) a look-ahead/look-back procedure. From a given layout. They combine an ant colony with three local search procedures: (1) a random descent pairwise exchange procedure. Baykasoglu et al. An example is illustrated in Fig. For discrete representation. a space filling curve defines a continuous sequence through all neighbored squares in the underlying layout (Fig. String scheme of a discrete layout representation based on a space filling curve (Wang et al. The fourth segment shows the sweeping direction (1: horizontal.. Yih. which represent operators and operands. Space-filling curves ensure that a facility is never split (Bock & Hoberg. 2005). the slicing tree is generally encoded into a string form. 10. Hamamoto. et al. 2007). Tam (1992) suggested coding a solution by a binary string with two parts.A. Drira et al. The third segment indicates the site size (length and width). The chromosome evaluation is performed through the simulation of a 4 months production.. a popular solution for coding layouts is based on Space Filling Curves (SFC) (Wang et al. we have presented a recent comprehensive survey related to facility layout problems. (2003) developed a hybrid genetic algorithm to solve the dynamic layout problem previously tackled by Rosenblatt (1986). and Shankar (2005) developed an ant algorithm for a sequence-dependent single row machine layout problem. 1963). Cheng. The plant area being divided into grids. 7. Balakrishnan. Recently. Wang et al. Mahdi. When authors addressed discrete layout problems. The first segment shows the department placement sequence. the coding scheme differs from continual representation. Mir and Imam (2001) presented a hybrid approach for a layout problem with unequal area facilities. 2: vertical) and the fifth segment indicates the sweeping bands. 10. Conclusion and research directions In this article. To take into account in a more realistic way the system performance. McKendall and Shang (2006) developed and compare three hybrid ant colony algorithms for a dynamic facility layout problem. which is derived from the problem formulation under consideration. The initial population is generated with two methods: a random method and an Urban’s procedure (Urban. The crossover is based on a dynamic programming approach and the mutation is achieved by the CRAFT heuristic (Armour & Buffa. . 1998). and Salvendy (1999) addressed a real problem of pharmaceutical industry. 1993). 9. this technique requires many rules to verify the connection of all positions of a layout as for example using expert rules (Wang et al. When a space filling strategy is defined. 2000). The hybridization of different metaheuristics has also been considered for solving facility layout problems. the analysis carried out is based on a large Fig. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 263 Fig. the optimal positions of facilities are determined by an analytical search technique in a multi-stage optimization process. 2005). Vrat. solutions have to be coded. Islier (1998) decomposed strings into three segments. The objective function used in evolutionary methods is generally expressed as a mathematical cost function. Solimanpur. 2005). Amet. Nevertheless.

either to solve complex problems (e. Computers & Operations Research. meanwhile. & Galante. International Journal of Production Research. 294– 300. J. 2573– 2582. Multi-objective approach to facility layout problem by genetic search algorithm and Electre method. G. 2002). Aiello. The use of a third dimension when designing a plant is a recent consideration that certainly requires more research. However. 57(2). 280–286. Therefore. These problems are often not independent (for example. J.g. 143– 175. in order to cope with problems of a larger size and to take into account more realistic constraints. S. E. (2003b). Armour. Balakrishnan. European Journal of Operational Research. 1.. (2000). The articles studied in this article focus on manufacturing system applications. G. (2006). Aiello. A hybrid genetic algorithm for the dynamic plant layout problem.. C.g. J. M. C. (1963). several floors. (2002). the determination of resources capacities.264 A. European Journal of Operational Research. research is still needed. H. & Cheng. Aleisa. in practice this problem is often consider together with other design problems. International Journal of Production Research... 30(11). (2000). G. Al-Hakim. there is still research needed for solving the different problems involved in the design of the workshop simultaneously instead of sequentially. the choice of a conveyor as a material handling device does not induce the same constraints as the choice of automated guided vehicles). Conway. & Lin. Evolutionary algorithms seem to be among the most popular approaches. aisles. (2003a). First of all. D. etc. Robert Jacobs. M. turn out to be promising and would worth being developed and improved. Several current trends and directions seem worth being mentioned. which consider that the data available are relevant to characterize the future operating conditions of the system. Balakrishnan. let us note that commercial software tools available on the market to globally assist in the design of manufacturing are currently limited.. airports. J. E. The often unrealistic aspect of static approaches. seems to be now well identified by researchers. Asef-Vaziri. 4369–4383. M. International Journal of Production Research. Such combinations. (2002). for example to select and optimize resources related to the vertical transportation of parts between different floors. J. 86(2). FACOPT: A user friendly FACility layout OPTimization system. L. Typical examples are P/D points. 4007–4017. However. Management Science. A heuristic algorithm and simulation approach to relative allocation of facilities.. G. Dynamic layout algorithms: A stateof-the-art survey. A.. Balakrishnan. etc. Aiello. instead of concentrating on facility layout problems. 40(15). P. recent papers include more and more complex and/or realistic characteristics of the studied manufacturing systems. Cheng. complex geometrical constraints. 9(2).. 22. F.. such as the choice of the type of manufacturing or transportation resources. International Journal of Production Research. or vice versa? In Proceedings of the 2005 Winter Simulation Conference. that start to be addressed. C. However. Enea. This is indeed an important issue because many articles contain restrictive assumptions that are not adapted to the complexity of many manufacturing system facilities.. there is probably a need for trying to make the resolution approaches more generic. J. G. This would lead to favor more global research about workshop design. We have noticed that most published works focus on determining the position of facilities. supermarkets. there is probably still a need for hybrid methods capable of optimizing the layout while taking into account expert available knowledge. 164(1). A.. F. Cheng. they often rely on knowledge of the future operating conditions... Loop based facility planning and material handling. (2005). Fuzzy approach to the robust facility layout in uncertain production environments. layout design problems also concern other types of systems. From this analysis.. Balakrishnan. These constitute interesting areas that could benefit from the advances made in the specific area of manufacturing. For effectiveness facilities planning: Layout optimization then simulation. L. C. This is an old trend (Benjaafar et al. Solutions for the constrained dynamic facility layout problem. Azadivar. such as ports. Given the fact that it is probably difficult to solve everything without using some kind of expert knowledge about the system.. 39(18).. (1998). & Venkataramanan. (2005). References Afentakis. International Journal of Production Economics. (1989). 507–521. & Lau. & Buffa.. 587–593.. H. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing. C. (2) sensitivity measures and analysis of layouts and (3) stochastic models used to evaluate solutions. M. Facility layout optimization using simulation and genetic algorithms. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 number of literature references. & Galante. K. Balakrishnan. E. Omega. & Wong. G. Therefore. 107–120. Computers & Operations Research. Fuzzy methods can offer interesting possibilities to include uncertainty. Solving methods are also hybridized. On solving facility layout problems using genetic algorithms. The combination with graphical tools would also render such tools more efficient and attractive and a few authors have started to consider possible interfaces with virtual reality systems. An integrated approach to the facilities and material handling system design. A. so that they can be embed as layout procedures in software tools supporting the design of manufacturing systems. Drira et al. (2001). C. H. . 27(6). Enea.. Loop layout design problem for flexible manufacturing systems. which are taken into account together when formulating the layout design problem. 38(17). & Wang. 4089–4101. as already noted by Benjaafar et al. Dynamic approaches may sometimes be a potential alternative. H. 1–11. 38(11). it appears that articles related to layout design continue to be regularly published in major research journals and that facility layout remains an open research issue. M. Genetic search and the dynamic layout problem. Approaches based on artificial intelligence are now seldom published.. metaheuristics embedding heuristics or connected with exact methods) or to provide more realistic solutions (e. G. 447–455. In terms of methods used to solve layout problems. & Laporte. one can obviously see that the use of metaheuristics is more and more reported in articles. & Cheng. However. (1992). 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Tunisia (University of 7 November at Carthage). operation of manufacturing 267 systems and of networks of firms are the main focuses of Dr. metaheuristics and multiobjective optimization. She is co-responsible for the URAII research unit in automatic and industrial computing of the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Tunis. in 1994 and 1997. . design and control of manufacturing systems. in 1994. respectively. France. He is currently working as an assistant professor at the High Institute of Medical Technologies (University Tunis El Manar). She received her BS degree in electrical engineering from the National Engineering School of Monastir.D. He participates in national and international research collaborations and is on the editorial board of scientific journals. modeling. Algorithmes et outils pour l’analyse des flux de production a l’aide du concept d’ordre. Drira et al. fuzzy computation.A. J. Tunisia. scheduling and optimization and metaheuristics. System Modeling and Optimization): UMR CNRS 6158. Sonia Hajri-Gabouj is an associate professor at the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Tunis. Tunisia. He received his doctoral degree and ‘‘qualification to direct research’’ degree from the University of Lyon in France. published in well-known international refereed journals. She received a ‘‘qualification to direct research’’ degree from the National Engineering School of Tunis in 2003. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles in these areas. dissertation (in French). She got her MS and PhD degrees in industrial computing and automatic from the University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille. His research interests include facility layout. University of Strasbourg 1. The design. Ph. / Annual Reviews in Control 31 (2007) 255–267 ` Zhou. Pierreval’s research. Amine Drira is a doctoral student in industrial computing at the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Tunis. (1998). Henri Pierreval is a professor at the French Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IFMA) of Clermont-Ferrand in France. His research activities are carried out within the LIMOS laboratory of Clermont-Ferrand (Laboratory of Computing. Her research interests include fuzzy modeling.