A simulation analysis of factors influencing the flow

time and through-put performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Faizul Huq
Department of MMAC, Eastern Kentucky University, USA and Groupe ESC, Pau,
France
Douglas A. Hensler
College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado at Boulder,
USA
Zubair M. Mohamed
Department of Management and Information Systems, Western Kentucky
University, USA
Introduction
The choice between a functional
manufacturing structure and a cellular
manufacturing structure continues to be the
focus of discussion among managers and
management scientists alike. Managers
continue to look for methods that improve
operational efficiency and reduced response
time. In response, management scientists
continue to develop models that predict
which manufacturing structure is optimal
under a set of specified conditions.
The extant literature contains a number of
results that demonstrate the best
manufacturing structure choice under a
varying set of conditions. The two principal
input variables to these studies are set-up
time (or a set-up time reduction factor) and
lot size. The principal focus of this work is
the output metric flow time. Flow time
captures manufacturing time but excludes
set-up times. Because of this, the inverse
relationship between flow time and through-
put is not perfectly correlated.
This paper extends the work comparing
functional manufacturing and cellular
manufacturing by explicitly modeling
through-put as an output metric in the
analysis. This is important because set-up
times can have a significant effect on
through-put and production efficiency. As a
result, knowledge about the set of conditions
under which through-put is optimized via the
choice of manufacturing structure provides
an additional tool for managers.
Using simulation models for each
manufacturing structure, this study yields
the set-up time reduction factor and lot size
characteristics under which each is superior
to the other. The study also yields those
conditions under which there is no
significant difference in the output between
the two manufacturing structures.
Background and extant literature
The decade of the 1980s brought with it a new
manufacturing paradigm involving ideas of
just-in-time (JIT), small lot sizes, continuous
improvement, and total quality. Greater
variety in product-line offers and smaller
customer orders became a norm in many
manufacturing environments coupled with
the need to speed delivery to the marketplace
by drastically reducing lead times. The
importance of group technology (GT), or
cellular manufacturing (CM), emerged as a
result of the demands of the new
manufacturing environment and market
needs. GT is essentially designed to improve
the efficiency of small batch production. This
manufacturing structure is best suited to the
multi-product manufacturing company
whose production volume does not justify
continuous or mass production (see Edwards,
1974). The principal difference between a
shop operating on a functional basis as
opposed to one operating on group
technology (cellular manufacturing) lies in
the machine layout and the pattern of
workflow.
Cellular manufacturing (CM) involves the
grouping of parts that have similar
processing requirements into part families.
In implementing CM, part family
identification leads to equipment
requirements specification for each part
family. Once the part family equipment
requirements are specified, the equipment or
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[ 285]
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
# MCB University Press
[ISSN 0957-6061]
Keywords
Functional layout,
Cellular manufacturing,
Simulation, Through-put time
Abstract
Contrasts functional layouts and
cellular layouts with regard to the
effects of set-up time reduction
and lot size on flow time and
through-put. The structural
environment for the functional
analysis is an efficient functional
system with a staged sequence of
four machine centers with
unidirectional flow and no
backtracking. The structural
environment for the cellular
analysis is a partitioned cell
consisting of one machine from
each of the four machine types
with unidirectional flow and no
backtracking. Simulation models
produce robust results for eight lot
size levels and one (functional
model) and seven (cellular model)
set-up time reduction levels. The
results contrast the effectiveness
of the two manufacturing
approaches under differing input
conditions. Shows that the choice
between the functional structure
and the cellular structure
significantly affects through-put at
lot sizes up to 55, while for lot
sizes of 60 and above there is no
significant effect. The study also
confirms previous results
regarding the effect of
manufacturing structure choice on
flow time.
set of machines needed to process a
particular part family are identified and
grouped together to form a cell. CM, however,
seeks to achieve many of the efficiencies
associated with mass production in job-shop
or functional manufacturing system (see
Edwards, 1974).
Even though a large number of descriptive
articles suggest that group technology has
revolutionized batch manufacturing, studies
such as Flynn and Jacobs (1987) and Morris
and Tersine (1990) question conclusion of
universal superiority of cellular
manufacturing structures over functional
ones. In contrast to Burbidge (1992), Rathmill
and Leonard (1977) suggest that an efficient
functional manufacturing structure is
superior to a cellular structure.
Morris and Tersine (1990) examine {a
functional} process layout vs. a hybrid
layout consisting of eight process
departments and one cell, including factors
such as the fraction of jobs routed to the cells
and the ratio of the cell process time to the
time required in process departments.
Supporting Rathmill and Leonard's results,
Morris and Tersine's provide support
favoring the functional process layout.
Several researchers identify set-up time
reduction as very important in reaping the
benefits of converting to a cellular layout
(see Flynn and Jacobs, 1987; Shafer, 1990;
Suresh, 1992). Suresh includes lot size in
analyzing the choice of manufacturing
structure on flow time. Using a simulation
model, this study analyses the effect of
varying set-up reduction on flow times for
each of the manufacturing structures and
verifies Suresh's results.
This study will also confirm Shafer's (1990)
work in two ways. First, CM possesses the
potential for reducing flow times over a
specific set of conditions. Second, while in a
good number of cases the average time-in-
system (flow time) is statistically lower for
the cellular system, the differences between
finished goods completed (through-put)
between the layouts are not statistically
significant in a majority of the cases. That is,
compared with the functional structure, the
cellular structure may improve flow time but
not the through-put. This exposes the impact
on set-up times resulting from adoption of the
cellular structure.
Analytical model and insights
The analytical models for the cellular-layout
(partitioned) system and the functional-
layout (un-partitioned) system presented
here are consistent with those proposed by
Suresh (1992). The M/M/I queue with k single
servers characterizes the partitioned system,
while the M/M/C queue with multiple
servers characterizes the un-partitioned
system. The use of flow time provides a
confirming exercise for Suresh's results;
more importantly, using through-put
provides a performance metric more closely
aligned to a demand pull environment.
Table I presents the operating
characteristics and/or performance
measures for the two systems. The operating
characteristics for the mathematical bases
form the simulation experiment. The fixed
input variables are the number of similar
machines (k), the demand rate (d), and
average process time (t). The input variables
under study are the lot size (q) and the set-up
time as varied by the setup time reduction
factor (S):
P
0
ˆ
1
P
kÀ1
nˆ0
…ups =ups†
n
n!
‡
…ups=ups†
k
n!
kups
kupsÀups

where = arrival rate, = service rate, =
set-up time reduction factor, T = set-up time.
The subscripts ps and ups represent
partitioned and un-partitioned systems.
Suresh's analytical results indicate that
partitioning work centers lead to
performance deterioration as measured by
flow times and work-in-process levels. Suresh
attributes this to routing flexibility losses in
a partitioned system. This confirms Flynn
and Jacobs' (1987) findings that the
performance deterioration attributed to
group technology is a result of dedicated
machines. Suresh also notes that machine
utilization is lower at specific flow time and
WIP levels.
One of the ways in which benefits of
cellular manufacturing can be reaped in a
partitioned system is via set-up time
reduction. Furthermore, for any given lot
size, an un-partitioned system performs
better than a corresponding partitioned
system. Suresh (1992) and Agarwal et al.
(1995) provide numerical examples of this
outcome.
This paper introduces a new performance
measure, through-put. Through-put time
captures set-up times, thereby moving the
performance measure closer to a demand
response metric. To compare cellular
systems with functional systems, this study
builds a simulation model using flow time
and through-put performance measures.
Based on the analytical insights gained from
the extant literature, the simulation
experiments focus on scenarios and
conditions not previously considered.
[ 286]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
Simulation model
Figure 1 presents the manufacturing layout
for the functional system. In the functional-
layout system jobs arrive randomly at the
first work center (1), which houses machines
1, 2, and 3, all of the same type. The jobs enter
a queue, if all the machines are busy, or
proceed to be processed, if the machines are
free. If the machine has already been set up
for that similar part-type, then the only time
spent is the processing time at the machine.
If a different part was previously set up, then
the machine processing time will include set-
up time and processing time. Jobs wait in
queue until a busy machine becomes
available. The moment a first machine
becomes available, a job moves to that
machine and the number in queue decreases
by one. Any machine of similar type can be
set up for any type of part and this flexibility
prevents long queues for available machines.
Once the job completes processing at the
first work center, it joins the queue at the
second work center, machines 4, 5, and 6. If
machines at the second work center are
available, then any set-up requirement is
determined. If setting-up is not required, the
job proceeds and processing time is recorded.
If set-up is required, the processing time for
the job will include the set-up time and the
processing time. The jobs run through a
similar sequence of operations at the third
and fourth work centers. Once the jobs
complete processing at the fourth work
center, their number is added to the total
number of processed jobs or finished goods
completed (through-put). The simulation
model for the functional system is shown in
the flowchart presented in Figure 2.
This model assumes only unidirectional
flow of jobs and no backtracking. The
operators also inspect the parts before
running them through to the next work
center. Processing time for a particular job
includes this inspection time. The amount of
time the job spends in the system is the flow
time. Flow time includes the time from
arrival at the first work center until the job's
departure after processing at the fourth work
center. The model includes the assumption
that the inter-arrival time between jobs is
exponentially distributed with a mean of 0.1
hours. In the simulation experiments using
functional models, the set-up and processing
times are assumed to be 3 and 0.1 hours,
respectively, and are based on an Erlang
distribution and no set-up reduction is
considered. A set-up reduction factor of 0.1 is
assumed for all simulation experiments
utilizing the functional layout. Also a regular
mover between work centers is based on a
uniform distribution varying between 20 and
60 minutes.
Figure 3 presents the manufacturing
layout for the cellular-layout system that is
achieved by partitioning the functional-
layout system. Cellular-layout system
consists of three designated cells (A, B, C),
each dedicated to a part family. There are
three part families, each containing one
product type. Each cell consists of four
machines, one machine from each of the four
machine types required by each part family.
Part family 1 consists of product type 1, part
family 2 contains product type 2, and part
Table I
Simulation models: operating characteristics and performance measures
Variable Partitioned system Unpartitioned system
Arrival rate
ps
= d/qk
ups
= D/q
Service rate
ps
= (T + tq)
-1

ups
= k
ups
Utilization (P
w
)
ps
/
ps
(1/k!)(
ups
/
ups
)
k
[k
ups/
(k
ups
±
ups
)] P
0
Jobs in queue (L
q
)
2
ps
/
ps
(
ps
±
ps
) (
ups
/
ups
)
k

ups
/
ups
/(k)! (k
ups
±
ups
)
2
P
0
Jobs in system (L
s
) L
q
+
ps
/
ps
Lq +
ups
/
ups
Time in queue (W
q
) L
q
/
ps
L
q
/
ups
Flow time (W) L
q
/
ps
+ 1/
ps
L
q
/
ups
+ 1/
ups
W/P L
s
*q
Steady state stability when
ps

ps

ups

ups
Minimum lot size (q
min
) dT/(k ± dt) dT/(k ± dt)
Steady state lot size (q*) Q
min
[1 +
p
(k/td)] q
min
[1 +
p
(k/td)
Through-put/unit of time (P
w
/W ± W
q
)/(unit of time) (P
w
/W ± Wq)/(unit of time)
Figure 1
Functional manufacturing system
[ 287]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
family 3 comprises product type 3. In the
cellular-layout system jobs arrive randomly
at the first machine center for each cell.
The jobs enter in lot sizes which are
consistent across the three cells. The inter-
arrival time between jobs is exponentially
distributed with means of 0.1 hours for each
cell. The jobs enter a queue, if the machine
center is busy, or proceed to be processed, if
the machine center is available. The machine
centers (cells) are dedicated for a particular
part-type or product-type, belonging to the
specific family associated with the cell. If the
machine has already been set up for that
similar part-type, then the only time spent is
processing time at the machine. If a different
Figure 2
Simulation flow diagram for functional system
[ 288]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
part was previously set up, then the parts
processing time will include set-up time and
processing time. Jobs wait in queue until a
machine is available.
The moment the machine center becomes
available, a job is directed at that machine
and the number in queue is reduced by one.
All the jobs belonging to a particular family
run through the same sequence of machine
centers in the cell. Queues tend to form
before machine centers in cellular set-ups,
unlike functional systems where queues exit
before the workcenters. The simulation
model for the partitioned system is shown in
the flowchart presented in Figure 4.
Once the job completes processing at the
first machine center, it joins the queue at the
second. If the second machine center frees up,
then it is ascertained if the machine center is
already set up or needs to be set up. If it does
not need to be set up, then the job is processed
and the processing time is recorded. If not,
the processing time for the job will include
the set-up time and processing time.
The jobs run through a similar sequence of
operations at the third and the fourth
machine centers. Once the jobs complete
processing at the fourth machine center of
the cell, their number is added to the total
number of processed jobs or finished goods
completed. This model assumes
unidirectional flow and no backtracking. The
operators inspect the parts before running
them through the next machine center.
Processing time for a particular job includes
inspection time.
Experimental design
The aim of the simulation experiment is to
compare the cellular performance with the
functional performance using through-put
and flow time performance metrics. The
variable input factors are lot size and set-up
time reduction factor and the fixed input
factors are the number of machines of similar
types, demand rate, and process time. The
simulation experiment uses the metrics
through-put and flow time to contrast
performance of a cellular-layout system with
a functional layout system. The experiment
assumes a high level of cell independence and
a given part is processed completely within
one cell. The full simulation experiment
involves 64 combinations of the two variable
input factors, wherein a number of cellular
modes with varying set-up time reduction
factors are compared with a fixed functional
set-up time across varying lot sizes.
The experiment considers a hypothetical
shop consisting of four types of machines
with three machines of each type, processing
three part-types or product-types. This
assumes that the parts belong to three
families, based on similarities in routing and
tooling requirements. Each family has one
part or product-type. Table II summarizes the
number of operations and machine types
required for each part family along with the
variable input factor levels.
The simulation for the cellular-layout
system considers seven set-up reduction
levels: 1.0, 0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, and 0.1. The
functional-layout system uses a fixed S value
of 1.0. Eight lot sizes vary from 35 to 75 in five-
piece increments for both systems. The inter-
arrival time for each job reflects an
exponential distribution with a mean of 0.1
hours. The simulation experiment assumes
that the set-up and operation times are
independently distributed, with mean values
of three and 0.1 hours, respectively. These are
the same values Suresh (1992) uses. The mean
values are based on 2-Erlang distribution
(this distribution effectively represents
processing-time data in many real world
situations (Suresh, 1992)) with a coefficient of
variation of 0.7071 for each distribution.
To express the inter-cell transfer time the
experiment uses a uniform distribution with
a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of
60 minutes. The data for the simulation
experiment are the same as those in Suresh's
experiment, applied in a different
hypothetical shop setting and related to
values for the set-up times, processing time,
coefficient of variation in inter-cell transfer
times along with their distributions.
The amount of time the jobs spend in the
system is the flow time. It includes the time
for the arrival to the first machine center
until the job's departure after processing at
the fourth machine center. In simulation
experiments involving cellular systems, set-
up time reductions are assumed except in the
base case where set-up time is the same as if
no set-up time reduction was assumed (i.e. as
in the functional system). In successive
simulation experiments, the set-up time is
reduced in accordance with the set-up
Figure 3
Cellular manufacturing system
[ 289]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
reduction factors () (i.e. 1.0, 0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.3,
0.2 and 0.1, where 0.8, for example, is a 20 per
cent reduction of the current set-up time).
The mean values for set-up and processing
times are three and 0.1 hours and are based
on an Erlang distribution. (This distribution
is known to effectively represent processing
time data in many real world situations). In
addition to set-up and processing times,
inter-cell transfer times are considered in the
simulation. A regular transfer was based on a
uniform distribution and times between 0.3
and 1.0 hours. The schematic for the cellular-
layout and the flowchart are presented in
Figure 4. The Erlang distribution parameters
are presented in Table III.
Figure 4
Simulation flow diagram for cellular system
[ 290]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
Because the system under study is a non-
terminating one, steady state data have to be
collected for analysis. Since there are no
statistical procedures for doing this, rule of
thumb suggested by Law and Kelton (1982) is
employed. They suggest that initial
observation be discarded, as long as they
seem to increase or decrease steadily.
Theoretically, before the steady state is
reached, the mean of the difference between
successive job daily average through-put and
flow times should be non-zero, and it should
converge to zero after reaching steady state.
This is statistically verified by performing
the t-test with the standard deviations
estimated for the sample data. Analysis of the
simulation output shows that the steady state
condition is reached when the program is
run for 4,320 hours.
A continuous-run simulation procedure
(Kleijnen, 1975) was adopted, whereby the
simulation run was divided into a series of
sub-runs, and the data were collected during
even-numbered sub-runs. A run length of six
months (4,320 hours) was found to provide an
adequate sample of jobs as well.
Results and discussion
The flow time for the functional layout,
presented in Table IV, is seen to be
minimized around a lot size of 40. Therefore
this factor-level combination was treated as
the efficient functional layout or EFL. The
values presented in Tables IV and V are the
mean values for the two dependent variables:
flow time, and through-put for various factor-
level combinations. The range of values for
the lot size was between a minimum of 35 to a
maximum of 75, while the set-up reduction
factors utilized was 1.0 for the functional
system and seven levels for the cellular
manufacturing system (i.e. 1.0, 0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.3,
0.2, and 0.1). The shaded boxes in the two
Tables represent the EFL values for the flow
time and through-put.
An overall analysis of variance (ANOVA)
showed the significance of the two main
effects as well as several interactions effects.
Hence, the mean values for the two
dependent variables (flow time and through-
put) are shown for all factor-level
combinations, as Morris and Tersine (1990)
pointed out.
The intent of most statistical experiments
is to determine the effects of one or more
factors/independent variables (i.e. set-up
reduction factor, lot size) on the response or
dependent variable, which is the variable of
interest to be measured in the experiment
(i.e. flow time and through-put). The levels
are the values of the factors that are utilized
in the experiment (i.e. system, set-up
reduction factor, lot size). The treatments of
this simulation experiment are the factor-
level combinations utilized.
The experimental design consisted of the
independent random selection of
experimental units representing each
treatment (functional and cellular). The
objective was to compare the treatment
means. If the true, or population, means of
Table II
Experimental details
A B C
Part family data
No. of Items 1 1 1
Number of operations 4 4 4
Machine types required 1, 4, 7, 10 2, 5, 8, 11 3, 6, 9, 12
Demand distribution (parameter) Expon (0.1) Expon (0.1) Expon (0.1)
Experimental factors
Factor Levels
System Functional layout Cellular layout
Set-up reduction factor (S) 0.1 1.0, 0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, 0.1
Lot size (q) 35, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75
Table III
Erlang distribution parameters
Mean (hrs)
Reduction
factor () EMN XK
3.0 1.0 1.50 2
2.7 0.9 1.35 2
2.4 0.8 1.20 2
2.1 0.7 1.05 2
1.8 0.6 0.90 2
1.5 0.5 0.75 2
1.2 0.4 0.60 2
0.9 0.3 0.45 2
0.6 0.2 0.30 2
0.3 0.1 0.15 2
0.1 0.033 0.05 2
[ 291]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
the p treatments are u
1
, u
2
, u
3
, u
p
, then the
null hypothesis that the treatment means are
all identical against the alternative that at
least two of the treatment means differ will
be listed:
H
0
: u
1
= u
2
= . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . u
p
H
a
: At least two of the p treatment means
differ.
For the simulation experiment,

1
= (2 ± 1) = 1 degree of freedom

2
= (10 ± 2) = 8 degrees of freedom
= 0.05
Therefore, F at = 0.05 for the
1
= 1 and
2
= 8
is equal to 5.32.
The hypotheses tests to compare how p
treatment means differ are as follows:
H
O
: u
1
= u
2
= . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . u
p
H
a
: At least two of the p treatment means
differ.
The tests are conducted under the following
assumptions:
.
All p population probability distributions
are normal.
.
The p population variances are equal.
.
Samples are selected randomly and
independently from the respective
populations.
Rejection region: if F > Fc, reject the null
hypothesis (H
0
); and, if F < Fc, then fail to
reject the null hypothesis:
Fc ˆ F;
1
;
2
If F > F critical, then reject the null
hypothesis, meaning that the results are
significant. If F < F critical, then fail to reject
the null hypothesis, implying that the
differences are significant.
Therefore, on the basis of ANOVA, null
hypothesis of no difference between the
efficient functional system and the other
system (cellular) combinations was rejected
at a 0.05 level of significance.
The ANOVA test results showed that, in
the case of the flow times, the results were
statistically significant in about 15 of 48
system combinations considered. While in
the case of mean through-put values, the
ANOVA test conducted for the two systems
under investigation, the differences in goods
completed (through-put) between the layouts
was not statistically significant for all the
system combinations reviewed. This is
consistent with the results from a prior study
conducted by Shafer (1990), whose study
revealed that, though in a number of cases
the average time in the system was
statistically lower for the cellular system, the
differences in goods completed between the
Table IV
Simulation results ± flow times
Lot size (q)
SYS 35 40 50 55 60 65 70 75
FL 1.0 108.0 98.5 101.0 104.5 104.5 107.0 110.0 112.0
CM 1.0 293.0 160.0 216.3 218.0 218.0 272.3 273.0 291.0
0.8 258.3 149.3 160.0 163.6 189.0 233.6 234.6 245.0
0.6 206.6 115.0 136.5 140.0 160.6 200.0 201.5 213.5
0.4 168.0 97.9 118.0 126.0 132.3 157.0 168.0 181.0
0.3 144.6 84.4 95.0 104.33 117.6 139.0 147.3 155.0
0.2 123.0 75.4 86.0 94.8 100.4 116.4 126.0 137.5
0.1 103.1 64.0 71.0 80.3 89.0 108.3 108.3 116.1
Notes: FL (q = 40) (treated as EFL in italic)
Table V
Simulation results ± through-put
Lot size (q)
SYS 35 40 50 55 60 65 70 75
FL 1.0 106.5 100.0 100.0 111.0 90.5 98.0 105.0 113.0
CM 1.0 106.5 61.5 76.5 84.0 91.5 99.0 106.5 113.0
0.8 106.5 61.5 76.5 84.0 91.5 99.0 106.5 113.0
0.6 106.5 61.5 76.5 84.0 91.5 99.0 106.5 113.0
0.4 106.5 61.5 76.5 84.0 91.5 99.0 106.5 113.0
0.3 106.5 61.5 76.5 84.0 91.5 99.0 106.5 113.0
0.2 106.5 61.5 76.5 84.0 91.5 99.0 106.5 113.0
0.1 106.5 61.5 76.5 84.0 91.5 99.0 106.5 113.0
Note: FL (q = 40) (treated as EFL in italic)
[ 292]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
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12/4 [2001] 285±295
layouts was not statistically significant for
the majority of cases. Thus, improved shop
performance in terms of reduced average
time spent in the system (flow time) was not
achieved at the expense of poor performance
in terms of the quantity of goods completed.
The graphs, Figures 5 and 6, present the
effects of lot size (q) and the set-up reduction
factor () on the performance measures of
flow time and through-put. As far as the flow
times are concerned, it is clear that the
cellular manufacturing system requires at
least a 70 per cent reduction of its set-up
times and a smaller lot size in order to
overtake the efficient functional layout in
terms of performance. In terms of the
through-put, there is a difference for the
smaller lot sizes used but, as we move
towards the larger lot sizes, the difference
between the layouts is insignificant.
Statistically, the results are insignificant,
meaning that the through-put is not different
for either the functional or the cellular
systems for a given level of lot size and set-up
reduction factor. Also noticeable from Table
V is that, for the cellular manufacturing
system, for different levels of set-up
reduction, there is no difference observed for
the mean values of through-put at different
lot sizes. In other words, reducing set-up time
has no bearing on the through-put at any
particular lot size under study.
Conclusions
This study, using a unique hypothetical shop
setting, has confirmed earlier studies
(Rathmill and Leonard, 1977), which
suggested that, for a given lot size, the
performance of a cellular system with an
insufficient degree of set-up reduction is
inferior to the corresponding functional
system. The partitioning of the work center
leads to an adverse effect on flow
characteristics, leading to a performance
deterioration. This is overcome by a
sufficient measure of set-up time reduction,
after which the benefits of the partitioned
system show up. The cellular system is
superior to the best of functional systems (i.e.
efficient functional system), for certain
combinations of values of lot size (q) and set-
up reduction factor (). Also noticed is the
insignificant difference between the two
systems as far as through-put is concerned. It
can be concluded that, even though there are
noticeable differences between the two
systems on the performance measure of flow
time for particular ranges of values of q and
, this was not achieved at the expense of
poorer performance in terms of the quantity
of goods completed (through-put).
The study reveals that a minimum amount
of set-up time reduction is necessary before
manufacturing establishments can start to
Figure 5
Flow time versus lot size
[ 293]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
reap benefits of cellular layouts. Therefore,
before companies move to a cellular set-up
from their present job shop environment or
functional set-up, they must significantly cut
down their set-up times by at least 60-70 per
cent in order to be able to move to the next
stage in the JIT system and move the
machines into a cellular layout. Furthermore,
only after significant set-up time reductions
on the machines being utilized can the move
towards smaller lot sizes be made. Smaller lot
sizes would mean less waste in the form of
scrap, less work-in-process, and a quicker
response ability to the market, attributable to
the lower cycle times in operation.
Cellular manufacturing systems are
conducive to lowering the variabilities in job
arrivals and to implementing a just-in-time
mode of operation. As an extension, one may
study the effect of varying job arrivals on the
performance measures of flow time and
through-put. A sensitivity analysis is in
order by varying the processing times and
observing its impact on the performance
measures of flow time and through-put.
References
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Figure 6
Through-put versus lot size
[ 294]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295
Further reading
Billatos, S.B. and Abdou, G.H. (1994), ``Integrated
modeling and analysis of cellular
manufacturing systems'', Flexible Automation
and Integrated Manufacturing.
Burbidge, J.L. and Dale, B.G. (1984), ``Planning the
introduction and predicting the benefits of
group technology'', Engineering Costs and
Production Economics, Vol. 8, pp. 117-28.
Cummings, G.F. (1980), ``Simulation model to
compare group technology and functional
layout'', Proceedings of the 1980 Summer
Computer Simulation Conference, pp. 626-30.
Flynn, B.B. (1987), ``Repetitive lots: the use of a
sequence-dependent set-up time scheduling
procedure in group technology and
traditional shops'', Journal of Operations
Management, Vol. 7 Nos 1 and 2.
Flynn, B.B. and Jacobs, F.R. (1986), ``A simulation
comparison of group technology with
traditional job-shop manufacturing'',
International Journal of Production Research,
Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 1171-92.
Grayon, T.J. (1971), ``Group technology: a brief
international appraisal'', in Pekienik, J. (Ed.),
Advances in Manufacturing Systems, Paper
No. 5, Pergamon Press, Oxford.
Gupta, R.M. and Tompkins, J.A. (1982), ``An
examination of the dynamic behavior of part-
families in group technology'', International
Journal of Production Research, Vol. 20 No. 1,
pp. 73-6.
Howard, M.L. and Neumann, R.G. (1993), ``From
job-shop to JIT: a successful conversion'',
Production and Inventory Management
Journal, 3rd quarter.
Hyer, N.L. (1984), ``The potential of group
technology for US manufacturing'', Journal of
Operations Management, Vol. 4 No. 3.
Hyer, N.L. and Wemmerlov, U. (1993), ``Research
issues in cellular manufacturing'',
International Journal of Production Research,
Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 191-202.
Jordan, P.C. and Frazier, G.V. (1993), ``Is the full
potential of cellular manufacturing being
achieved?'', Production and Inventory
Management Journal, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 70-2.
Lee, L.C. (1984), ``A study of a system
characteristics in a manufacturing cell'',
International Journal of Production Research,
Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 1101-14.
Mosier, C. and Taube, L. (1985), ``The facets of
group technology and their impacts on
implementation: a state-of-the-art survey'',
International Journal of Management Science,
Vol. 13 No. 5, pp. 381-91.
Patterson, M.C. (1993), ``Analysis of set-up time at
constraint resources'', International Journal
of Production Research, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 845-9.
Wemmerlov, U. and Hyer, N.L. (1989), ``Cellular
manufacturing in the US industry: a survey of
users'', International Journal of Production
Research, Vol. 27 No. 9, pp. 1511-30.
[ 295]
Faizul Huq, Douglas A. Hensler
and Zubair M. Mohamed
A simulation analysis of
factors influencing the flow
time and through-put
performance of functional and
cellular layouts
Integrated Manufacturing
Systems
12/4 [2001] 285±295