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**designing of multiple cellular
**

manufacturing systems

Ibrahim Al Kattan

American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract

Purpose – This paper presents a new method of resource optimization through workload balance in

designing of multiple cellular manufacturing (MCM) systems for ﬂow-shop environments. The

application of a step-by-step structured approach to design MCM cells more efﬁciently and generate

smooth ﬂow shop type with better resource utilization.

Design/methodology/approach – An industrial application case with 31 products carried on 12

workstations is presented to explore the step-by-step of designing and analyzing the results of

alternative cellular manufacturing and balancing the workload.

Findings – MCM designs have become an important approach for batch production in the last

decade, and their layout provides a dominant ﬂow structure for the production scheduling. The ﬂow

shop nature of MCM adds a simplifying structure to the complexity of planning and scheduling. This

method will generate many alternative designs and conﬁgurations of MCM in the form of highly

ﬂexible manufacturing systems. These alternatives could be better a choice for resource optimization

in the industrial application.

Originality/value – Together with the associated costs, each proposed solution for the MCM could

help to design and build efﬁcient and highly ﬂexible systems. Special emphasis will be devoted to the

workload balance of workstations, machines, material-handling equipment and WIP with the

utilization of the resources in the production system. This method is practical, experiential and

participates. A program using C language will be written to test the proposed algorithm for randomly

generated input data.

Keywords Resource management, Cellular manufacturing, Operations and production management

Paper type Research paper

Introduction

Today’s manufacturer is looking for ways to maximize the production ﬂow of material,

improve utilization of the resources such as machine and material handling labor, and

reduce the work-in-process. This process of modifying or changing the products and

consequently the layout of machines and workstations became top priority to the

manufacturers in today’s market economy. The mediumand small size industries more

often come across the problem of producing a variety of products in small quantities.

As the variety increases as compared to the quantity to be produced, the management

has to take the decision of moving more toward ﬂexible manufacturing rather than

fully automated manufacturing systems. The main problem of building and balancing

multiple cellular manufacturing (MCM) cells is assigning a group of parts into

manufacturing cell a set of machines. These machines could be a group of both new

and existing machinery and material handling equipment using group technology

techniques. According to Buzzacott and Shanthikumar (1992), a multiple cellular

manufacturing system consists of different manufacturing cells where each cell can

The Emerald Research Register for this journal is available at The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

www.emeraldinsight.com/researchregister www.emeraldinsight.com/1741-038X.htm

JMTM

16,2

178

Received August 2002

Revised July 2003

Accepted October 2003

Journal of Manufacturing Technology

Management

Vol. 16 No. 2, 2005

pp. 178-196

qEmerald Group Publishing Limited

1741-038X

DOI 10.1108/17410380510576822

make a variety of different products from a variety of different parts or raw materials.

The MCM cells typically transform raw material into ﬁnished products for selected

families of parts. Flexibility is required to produce a variety of products in small

batches (Besant and Ristic, 1997). The fact that a job spends on an average only 5

percent of its total ﬂow time being processed on machines, and during the remaining

time, either it is in a queue as WIP or being transported from one work-center to

another has been elaborated by Crama (2003). Traditionally, the manufacturing of

batch/discrete lots of component parts has taken place in a process layout where

similar machines are grouped together in one area of the production plant. Thus,

during the production process, batches move through various work centers according

to speciﬁed machining sequences. To survive in a highly competitive environment,

which demands short lead-time deliveries and low cost products, there is a need for

better coordination and scheduling of production and logistic activities on the shop

ﬂoor (Anwar and Nagi, 1997). Cellular manufacturing is the proven strategy for

manufacturing for higher efﬁciency, consequently generating more proﬁts for

manufacturers. Several leading manufacturers have adopted it. For example, “Toyota

Production” is the subject of the day being taught in schools as a leading cellular

manufacturing (CM) strategy. Cellular manufacturing yields major improvements in

productivity, quality and response. Some beneﬁts of the cellular manufacturing are like

80-90 percent less inventory, 70-90 percent less material handling, 20-100 percent

improved productivity, simpler scheduling, faster customer response, improved

quality in smooth ﬂow production system and customization, (Kattan, 1997). Although

researchers view an MCM as a combination of production cells and production stores

connected through material ﬂow, the case of product stores will not be discussed at all

in this paper unless otherwise necessary to explain or to strengthen the point of

discussion.

A great deal of research has been focused on solving the job-shop problem over the

last 40 years, resulting in a variety of approaches. Recently, much effort has been

concentrated on hybrid methods to solve this problem, as a single technique cannot

solve this problem in a ﬁnite time for a large number of combinations, (Julia et al.,

1995). The research in scheduling theory has evolved over the past 40 years and has

been the subject of much signiﬁcant literature with techniques ranging from unreﬁned

dispatching rules to highly sophisticated parallel branch and bound algorithms and

bottleneck based heuristics. One of the most popular models in scheduling theory is

that of job-shop as it is considered to be a good representation of the general domain

and has earned a reputation for being notoriously difﬁcult to solve. It is probably the

most well developed model in deterministic scheduling theory, serving as a

comparative test-bed for different solution techniques, old and new, and as it is also

strongly motivated by practical requirements it is clearly worth understanding.

Formally, the deterministic job-shop-scheduling problem consists of a ﬁnite set of jobs

n to be processed on m machines. The job is processed on several machines and

consists of complex operations, which have to be scheduled in a predetermined given

order, a requirement called a precedence constraint. Each job has its own individual

ﬂow pattern through the machines, which is independent of the other jobs.

Furthermore, the problem is attended by capacity constraints or disjunctive

constraints, which stipulate that each machine can process only one operation and

each operation can be processed by only one machine at a time. The duration in which

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

179

all operations for all jobs are completed is referred to as the make span. One of the

objectives of the scheduler is to determine starting times for each operation in order to

minimize the make span while satisfying all the precedence and capacity requirements.

A new classiﬁcation scheme for FMSs has been presented by MacCarthy et al.

(1993). They identiﬁed four types of FMSs: single ﬂexible machine (SFM), ﬂexible

manufacturing cell (FMC), multi-machine ﬂexible manufacturing system (MMFMS),

and multi-cellular manufacturing system (MCMS). An SFM is a computer controlled

production unit which consists of a single NC or CNC machine tool served by a robot as

a material handling device with a part storage buffer, (Black, 1983, 1988, cited in

Kattan, 1997). An FMC is a type of FMS, which consists of a group of SFMs with three

or fewer machines sharing one common material-handling device (MacCarthy et al.,

1993). Whereas an MCFMS is a type of an automated material handling system links

FMS, which consists of a number of FMCs, and their operations. The operation of the

entire system is integrated and controlled by a computer network. Forming a MCMS

center, a production system can be developed that has the advantage of the production

rate of an assembly line (product line), yet the ﬂexibility of a job shop. Parts can be

grouped into a family based on the design and/or manufacturing similarities between

them. The design attributes are external/internal shapes, material dimensions, and

geometrical dimensioning tolerances. The manufacturing attributes are machining

operations, machine tools, operation sequence, and batch size and production time

(Kattan, 1997).

Recently, numerous algorithms based on the evolutionary computation methods

have been developed. Dimopoulos and Zalzala (1998) give an excellent review of

evolutionary computation methods, and highlight some recent development in the

ﬁeld. Awadh et al. (1995) presented one of the ﬁrst evolutionary algorithms for the

solution of the optimal plan selection problem. Each stage of a process plan was

represented by a binary-coded matrix, where the occurrence of a bit with positive value

denoted the presence of a connection between the corresponding nodes of the matrix

(Dimopoulos and Zalzala, 2000). Zhou and Gen (1997) noted that fast and efﬁcient

algorithms, like the shortest path method and dynamic programming, are capable of

producing good solution for single objective process planning problems. They argued

that evolutionary computation methods are ideal for the multi-objective version of the

problem, which cannot be easily expressed as a shortest path or dynamic

programming problem. For the reader not familiar with these concepts additional

information can be found in Zhou and Gen (1997) and Dimopoulos and Zalzala (2000).

Background and literature review

In the last decade, there has been considerable interest in the research of scheduling

and production control for FMSs. Many researchers and practicing industrial and

system engineers have tried to improve the performance of the system and the resource

utilization of FMSs. As the industrialized world develops, more and more resources are

becoming critical. Resources such as machines, manpower, and facilities are now

commonly thought of as crucial in production and service activities. Scheduling these

resources leads to increased efﬁciency, utilization, and, ultimately, proﬁtability.

Manufacturing cells have become an important approach to batch manufacturing in

the last two decades, and their layout structure provides a dominant ﬂow structure for

the part routings. The ﬂow shop nature of manufacturing cells adds a simplifying

JMTM

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180

structure to the problem of planning worker assignments and order releases, which

makes it more amenable to the use of optimization techniques. In 1993 Skorin-Kapov

and Vakharia proposed a Tabu search scheme for effective scheduling of ﬂow-lines for

manufacturing cells. The Tabu search heuristic of Skorin-Kapov and Vakharia

efﬁciently schedules a pure ﬂow-line manufacturing cell under varying parameter

conditions (http://www.tabusearch.net/Tabu_Search/Planning_Scheduling/Flowline.

asp).

Hefetz and Adiri (1982, cited in Dimopoulos and Zalzala, 1998) have developed an

efﬁcient approach for the n jobs on two machines problem where all operations are of

unit processing time, while Williamson et al. (1997, cited in Dimopoulos and Zalzala,

1998) prove that determining the existence of a schedule with a make span of three can

be done in polynomial time as long as the total processing time required by all the

operations on each machine is no more than three. Any success that has been achieved

using mathematical formulations can be attributed to Lagrangian relaxation

approaches and decomposition methods. Researchers have also used branch and

bound methods to solve this problem. Since this technique is a part of this study, it will

be discussed later in detail. Glover and Greenberg (1989, cited in Dimopoulos and

Zalzala, 1998) indicate the importance of approximation methods that suggest that

directed tree searching is wholly unsatisfactory for combinatorial difﬁcult problems.

They indicate that heuristics inspired by natural phenomena and intelligent problem

solving are most suitable, providing an appropriate bilateral linkage between

operations research and artiﬁcial intelligence. Approximation procedures applied to

job-shop were ﬁrst developed on the basis of priority dispatching rules and due to their

ease of implementation and their substantially reduced computational requirement

they are a very popular technique (Baker, 1974; French, 1982, cited in Al-Qattani, 1990;

Morton and Pentico, 1993, cited in Kattan, 1997). The earliest work on priority

dispatching rules was ﬁrst done by Jackson (1955, 1957), Smith (1956), Rowe and

Jackson (1956), Gifﬂer and Thompson (1960) and Gere (1966, all cited in Dimopoulos

and Zalzala, 1998). The most well-known and comprehensive survey of scheduling

heuristics is by Panwalker and Iskander (1977, cited in Kattan, 1997) where 113

priority-dispatching rules are presented, reviewed and classiﬁed. Although for many

years the only viable approximation methods were priority dispatching rules, recently

the advent of more powerful computers as well as the emphasis on carefully designed,

analyzed and implemented techniques has allowed more sophisticated approaches to

be developed which can bridge the gap between priority dispatching rules and time

consuming combinatorial exploding exact methods. One example of such an approach

is the shifting bottleneck procedure (SBP) of Adams et al. (1988, cited in Kattan, 1997).

According to Davis and Mabert (2000), manufacturing cells have become an

important approach to batch manufacturing in the last two decades, and their layout

structure provides a dominant ﬂow structure for the part routings. The ﬂow shop

nature of manufacturing cells adds a simplifying structure to the problem of planning

worker assignments and order releases, which makes it more amenable to the use of

optimization techniques, (Croce et al., 1995). More recently, Weiss (2002) observed that

a multiclass ﬂuid network could approximate ﬁnite horizon system. According to

Weiss both a deterministic combinatorial optimization problem formulation and a

multiclass queuing network method are of little practical help in trying to optimize

these systems. Both of these methods, according to Weiss, suffer from conceptual

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

181

shortcomings. The ﬂuid control problem is a separated continuous linear problem

(SCLP) and it can be solved numerically. That is why it is more tractable than

combinatorial optimization of Markov decision problems. Olafsson and Shi (1997) have

addressed the parallel-machine ﬂexible-resource scheduling (PMFRS) problem of

simultaneously allocating ﬂexible resources, and sequencing jobs, in cellular

manufacturing systems where the cells are conﬁgured in parallel. They presented a

solution methodology for the PMFRS problem called the nested partitions (NP) method.

This method combines global sampling of the feasible region and local search

heuristics. They developed a new sampling algorithm that can be used to obtain good

feasible schedules, and suggested a new improvement heuristic (Olafsson and Shi,

1997). Zhao and Fan (1999) observed that there is no single algorithm that could solve

all kind of scheduling problems. They have tried to combine possible solutions into a

mechanism called integration of scheduling algorithms that uses multi-agent system

technique to call the required algorithm whenever it is needed (Zhao and Fan, 1999).

Moreover, research has also been done in the deadlock-free ﬂexible manufacturing

systems, where new ways and methods are proposed to avoid deadlocks in case of

sudden breakdown of the machine or any other part of the whole system. Yoon and Lee

have recently done some work in this direction. They used a database constructor and

a dynamic scheduler in real-time (Yoon and Lee, 2000). Scheduling consists of planning

and prioritizing activities that needs to be performed in an orderly sequence of

operation. A tool optimizes use of available resources. Scheduling leads to increased

efﬁciency and capacity utilization, reducing time required to complete jobs and

consequently increasing the proﬁtability of an organization. Efﬁcient scheduling of

resources such as machines, labor, and material is necessary in today’s extremely

competitive environment. Hence, scheduling methods are tools that allow production

and other systems to run efﬁciently. The scheduling efﬁciency can be measured by

various indexes. Two of the most popular are minimization of time required to

complete all jobs and minimization of penalty for completing jobs early or after the due

dates.

Proposed method

The proposed method considered optimization of cells by balancing machine workload

using the processing time, set-up time, and the capacity of the MCM cells among

manufacturing cells. This method is a modiﬁcation of branch and bound method used

in designing ﬂexible manufacturing cells developed by Al-Qattan (1990). The original

method is based on branching from a seed machine and bounding on a completed part.

Seed machines represent the starting node for the network system as initiative for

MCM. Selecting a seed machine with the smallest total processing time of jobs will help

to reduce the size of the network tree and obtain more alternative solutions, which may

help to generate a hybrid MCM. The machines or the workstations, which are

candidates for duplication, can be determined either due to the lack of capacity to

process all of the job and/or the machine that represents a congestion point or

bottleneck machine in the production ﬂow. Adding new machines may solve this

problem. Therefore, the machines which have more than the average number of hours

per workstation could be considered as candidates for duplication. Most machine-part

grouping methods use an array-based matrix of M by N, with zero or one entities,

where there are M machines and N parts. A “one” entry in row j and column i of the

JMTM

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182

matrix indicates that part i has an operation on machine j; a zero entry indicates it does

not. This is the assumption commonly used in the previous research in all

machine-part grouping problems, neglecting the effect of set-up time, processing time

and the volume of the part to be produced on each machine.

Problem deﬁnition

A solution for the cell formation problem is presented here when n parts are to be

processed on m machines in a ﬂow shop environment. This research is considering the

ﬂow-shop production system with technological constraints of the sequence of

manufacturing operations. The processing time p

ij

of part i on workstation j is given.

Since the environment is that of a ﬂow shop, each part can go in the same order as in a

ﬂow shop. This kind of production system is usually more efﬁcient with material

handling and movement and keeping a very smooth ﬂow of production. Decomposing

the entire group of all parts into k MCM cells could minimize the scheduling problem.

This research includes the processing time ( p

i,j

) and the production quantity or the

demand (D

i

) of each product. To simplify the solution procedure, the criteria introduced

in the proposed method is an array-based matrix of m by n, with zero or “TP

i,j

” value,

where there are mworkstations and n number of products. The value of “TP

i,j

” entry in

row i and column j of the matrix indicates that part i has an operation on machine j; a

zero entry indicates it does not.

Notation

P

i

¼ the ith part where i ¼ 1, 2, . . ., n, where n is the total number of the parts.

M

j

¼ the jth machine where j ¼ 1, 2, . . ., m, where m is the total number of the

machines.

P

i,j

¼ the processing time (minutes) of the ith part on the jth workstation or

machine.

D

I

¼ weekly demand of part i.

TP

ij

¼ the number of hours that the jth workstation or machine required to

produce the quantity D

i

of the ith part.

S

i,j

¼ set-up time of machine j for part i.

TP ¼ (D

i*

p

i, j

/60)þS

i, j

.

TAP

j

¼ the total time of all parts that have an operation on workstation j.

T ¼ the total amount of load:

TAP

j

¼

X

N

i¼1

TP

i,j

for all j ¼ 1, 2 . . . m

T

¯

¼

X

M

i¼1

TAP

j

/ m

T

¯

¼ the average workload per workstation.

K ¼ the number of a family of parts or manufacturing cells MC.

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

183

C(k) ¼ the kth MC cells.

P(k) ¼ the family of parts in kth MC cells.

AL(k) ¼ the alternative parts in kth MC cells.

{AM} ¼ the set of all workstations or machines.

{AP} ¼ the set of all parts.

{B} ¼ the set of all bottleneck workstations or machines which are candidates

for duplication.

b

j

¼ TAP

j

/T

¯

. 1 is the criterion for adding a new machine. The higher the

value of b

j

, the higher is the possibility of adding more than one machine

of type j.

MWL ¼ the maximum amount of workload could be assigned to any cell to

achieve the best workload balance among all MC. This is an initial

assumption:

MWL ¼

X

M

i¼1

TAP

j

/K

UWL(k) ¼ the actual amount of used workload in the kth MC cell:

UWL(k) ¼

P

TP

ij

all parts in MC C(k)

RWL(k) ¼ the remaining capacity of workload could be used in the kth cell:

RWL(k) ¼ MWL – UWL(k)

AWL(K) ¼ the amount of workload in the alternative set in the kth MC cells:

AWL(k) ¼

P

TP

ij

for all alternative parts could be used into AC(K)

AC(k) ¼ the alternative parts that are added into the MC cell.

CL(K) ¼ the kth MC cell’s workload at any time.

Selecting the value of K, the number of cells

This study uses two assumptions to deﬁne the range of value for K. The ﬁrst criterion

for choosing the minimum value for K is the ratio of maximum workload of any

workstation needed to ﬁnish all parts to the available workload machine.

(1) The criterion for selecting the smallest number of MC, value of K:

K ¼

max {TAP

j

}

MWL

(2) The criterion for selecting the largest number of MC, value of K. The maximum

value of K is obtained by dividing the total processing time by the maximum

value of TAP

j

:

JMTM

16,2

184

K ¼

X

m

i¼1

X

n

j¼1

TP

ij

MaxðTAP

j

Þ

Proposed method

Step 0

Obtain the workstation with workload considered to be bottleneck.

bj ¼ TAP

J

=

T

Find all workstations that b

j

$ 1, insert them into a set {B},

Stage “I”: Initialization. Insert all workstations into a set {AM}, and insert all parts

into a set {AP}

Set C(K) ¼ {0}, Set P(K) ¼ {0}, and Set AL(K) ¼ {0} for k ¼ 1, 2, . . ., K

Step 1

Set K ¼ 1, to initialize the formation of ﬁrst MC center.

Step 2

Select the smallest value of TAP

j

as an initial network node for the kth group, call it the

seed workstation or machine (M). Insert Ms into C(K) set.

Step 3

Branch all parts that visit seed machine Ms. Insert all parts into P(K) set.

Step 4

Bound every part which does not require another machine. Otherwise, branch to a new

machine required to be visited. Insert the new machines into C(K) set.

Step 5

Calculate the workload of the kth MC cell, CL(K).

If the CL(K) , MWL, continue step 6.

If the CL(K) . MWL, then delete parts in P(K) until CL(K) become less than MWL.

Go to step 8.

Step 6

Bound every machine that belongs to set {B} machine. Branch all parts that visit all

the remaining machines in set C(K).

Step 7

Calculate the used workload of the kth MC, UWL(K).

If the UWL(K) , MWL, repeat step 6.

If the UWL(K) . MWL, then do not insert parts in the previous step and go to step 8.

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

185

Step 8

Calculate the remaining workload, RWL(K) of the kth MC.

Step 9

Insert all parts that can be completed by the machines that are already assigned to the

C(K) into set AL(K) as an alternative list.

Step 10

Calculate the alternative parts, which could be ﬁnished in the kth MC, AWL(K)

If UWL(K) þ AWL(K) , TAP, then insert all parts from A(K) into C(K)

If UWL(K) þ AWL(K) . TAP, then do nothing.

Step 11

Form MC cells from all machines in a closed network C(K). Use a closed network to

form a family of parts P(K) and alternative parts AL(K).

The suggestion is to keep the track of the workload at every single step for the

remaining jobs and workstations only. Thus, create a new two dimensional table for

the remaining jobs in{AP} and workstations {AM}.

Step 12

Delete all parts in P(K) from set {AP}.

Step 13

Calculate new TAP

j

.

Step 14

Delete all machines with TAP

j

¼ 0 from set {AM}.

Step 15

Create a new two-dimensional table for the remaining jobs in{AP} and workstations

{AM}.

Step 16

Increment K by one

Stage “II” next. Second MCM formation, go to step 1 and continue to step 16.

Stage “III” next. Third MCM formation, go to step 1 and continue to step 16.

Step 17

STOP Criteria when all parts produced either direct assignment into cell at the ﬁrst

formation of the cell or assigned as alternative to balance the workload among MC.

Industrial application

To demonstrate the merit of the proposed method, a practical problem from an

industrial partner is used. The unit consists of 43 different components, out of which,

31 components are being manufactured using 12 different workstation centers. Each

part is considered as a job order, which includes many operations where each operation

takes a certain operation time. The processing time for each operation in the

corresponding workstation is given in Table I. The present plant has highly congested

JMTM

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186

movement and WIP. Using this method will transform the single plant into multiple

cellular manufacturing centers. The proposed method ensures better scheduling and

the close to optimum job sequence. The objective of this work is to design

manufacturing cell with workload balance among all MCM cells.

Assumption to choose the value of K, the number of cells

(1) The criterion for selecting the minimum value of K:

K ¼

max{TAP

j

}

MWL

The maximum value of TAP

j

is then divided by MWL, the number of hours per

week a machine has to run. As shown in the table, the maximum number of

hours is 103 and the number of working hours is 35/week. Therefore:

Max {TAP

j

} /MWL¼103/35 ¼ 2.94.

Rounding off this value to the next higher integer value gives value of K ¼ 3.

Part ws1 ws2 ws3 ws4 ws5 ws6 ws7 ws8 ws9 ws10 ws11 ws12 TP

j

1 3 0 3 2 0 11 0 0 0 7 0 0 26

2 5 0 3 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 15

3 8 4 4 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 28

4 0 3 0 6 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 16

5 0 3 0 0 0 6 5 0 7 0 0 7 28

6 4 3 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 6 3 0 21

7 6 0 6 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 26

8 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 5 13

9 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 0 0 13

10 7 4 0 8 0 0 5 0 4 0 0 6 34

11 0 0 7 0 7 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 20

12 0 3 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 9 3 9 31

13 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

14 4 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 13

15 5 2 4 0 0 9 0 7 0 0 0 0 27

16 6 0 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18

17 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 11

18 2 2 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 15

19 7 0 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 16

20 8 2 1 0 0 4 0 0 8 0 0 0 23

21 0 7 0 12 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 31

22 14 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 26

23 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 12

24 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 17

25 3 3 9 0 0 0 7 0 0 8 0 0 30

26 0 0 5 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12

27 0 3 0 0 8 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 18

28 3 0 0 9 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 21

29 2 3 5 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17

30 3 0 0 3 0 4 0 0 4 0 0 7 21

31 7 5 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20

TP

j

103 64 60 75 81 49 24 25 40 30 11 60 622

Table I.

Processing time of 31

parts on 12 workstations

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

187

(2) The criterion for selecting the maximum value of K:

The maximum value of K is obtained by dividing the total processing time

by the maximum value of T

j

:

K ¼

X

m

i¼1

X

n

j¼1

TP

i;j

MaxðTAP

j

Þ

In this particular example, the maximum value of K is:

K¼622/103 ¼ 6

The value of K can vary between minimum and maximum value 3 and 6.

Transformation to three MCM cells

Let:

K ¼ the number of cell will be used, K ¼ 3

T ¼ target value of the load suggested using K ¼ 3

L ¼ amount of the load to produce part

CL ¼ amount of the load assigned to the cell T ¼ 622/3 ¼ 207

Formation of ﬁrst MCM cell

Step 1

Set B contains all WS for which b

j

. 1

B ¼ {WS1, WS2, WS3, WS4, WS5, WS12}.

Step 2

Select the seed machine (smallest value of load): WS11.

Step 3

Branch all part, which visits WS_1:P6, P12, P14, P18.

Step 4

Calculate CL1 ¼ L6 þ L12 þ L14 þ L18 ¼ 80; T–CL1 ¼ 207 – 80 ¼ 127 (Now we

can see that Cell#1 is able to handle ,127 more).

Step 5

Branch all new WS, which visit by all part in Step 2: WS1, WS2, WS4, WS5, WS7,

WS10, and WS12.

Step 6

Bound every machine which belongs to machine set {B}.

Step 7

Branch all new parts which visit all the remaining machines (not in set ): P1, P5, P10,

and P25.

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16,2

188

Step 8

Again, calculate CL ¼ 80 þ L1 þ L5 þ L10 þ L25 ¼ 198

T – CL1 ¼ 207 – 198 ¼ 9

CL1 ¼ 80 CL1 ¼ 80 þ 118 ¼ 198

The network for formulation of ﬁrst MCM cell is shown in Figure 1.

Step 9

Since we still have some room left, now we can insert parts that can be completed by

the machine which is already assigned within Cell 1. We can save the list of parts

which can be complete within Cell 1 for later consideration and then move on to the

next cell. Cell_1(Part_alt): {2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31}.

Step 10

Remove all WS except the last stage which does not belong to set {b} ¼ (WS7, WS10,

WS11), and remove all parts that belong to Cell_1(P1, P5, P6, P10, P12, P14, P18, P25).

Then create a new table, Table II.

Formation of MCM Cell#2

Step 1

Select the seed machine (smallest value of the load): WS8.

Step 2

Branch all part, which visits WS_1: P8, P9, P15, P23, and P27.

Step 3

Calculate CL2 ¼ L8 þ L9 þ L15 þ L23 þ L27 ¼ 83

T – CL2 ¼ 207 – 83 ¼ 124 (Now we can see that Cell#2 is able to handle ,124

more).

Step 4

Branch all new WS, which visit by all parts in Step 2: WS1, WS2, WS3, WS5, WS6,

WS9, and WS12.

Figure 1.

Network for formulation

of ﬁrst MCM cell

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

189

Step 5

Bound every machine which belongs to machine set.

Step 6

Branch all new parts which visit all the remaining machines (not in set {B}): P4, P11,

P20, P24, P28 and P30.

Step 7

Again, calculate CL2 ¼ 83 þ L4 þ L11 þ L20 þ L24 þ L28 þ L30 ¼ 201

T – CL2 ¼ 207 – 201 ¼ 6 (Now we can see that Cell#2 is able to handle ,6 more).

Step 8

Subtract all parts assigned in Cell#2 to the Cell#1 alternative list (Step 9 in Cell#1).

Therefore, for Cell_1 alternative list becomes: {P2, P3, P7, P13, P16, P17, P19, P21, P22,

P26, P29, P31}.

Step 9

Repeat Step 8 in cell#1 for Cell#2 alternative list: {P2, P3, P7, P13, P16, P17, P19, P21,

P22, P26, P29, P31}.

Part ws1 ws2 ws3 ws4 ws5 ws6 ws8 ws9 ws12 Load

2 5 0 3 0 4 0 0 0 3 15

3 8 4 4 5 3 0 0 0 4 28

4 0 3 0 6 0 0 0 7 0 16

7 6 0 6 0 6 0 0 0 8 26

8 0 5 0 0 0 0 3 0 5 13

9 0 6 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 13

11 0 0 7 0 7 6 0 0 0 20

13 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

15 5 2 4 0 0 9 7 0 0 27

16 6 0 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 18

17 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 11

19 7 0 1 6 0 0 0 0 2 16

20 8 2 1 0 0 4 0 8 0 23

21 0 7 0 12 12 0 0 0 0 31

22 14 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 26

23 3 4 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 12

24 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 6 0 17

26 0 0 5 7 0 0 0 0 0 12

27 0 3 0 0 8 0 7 0 0 18

28 3 0 0 9 0 9 0 0 0 21

29 2 3 5 0 7 0 0 0 0 17

30 3 0 0 3 0 4 0 4 7 21

31 7 5 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 20

TP

j

80 46 48 60 66 32 25 29 38 424

Table II.

Processing time of the

remaining parts and

workstations

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16,2

190

Step 10

Remove all WS except the last stage, which does not belong to set {b} ¼ (WS6, WS8,

WS9), and remove all parts that belong to Cell_2(P4, P8, P9, P11, P15, P20, P23, P24,

P27, P28, P30). Then create a new table, Table III. CL2 ¼ 83CL2 ¼ 83 þ 118 ¼ 201.

The network for formulation of second MCM cell is shown in Figure 2. Now all

machines in Table III will be assigned for Cell#3, but we also have alternative choice to

assign parts from Cell#3 to Cell#1 and Cell#2 according to the list we have. Since

Cell#1 still has room for nine workload units, and Cell#2 has room for six workload

units, Part#17 could be assigned for Cell#1, and Part#13 for Cell#2. The summary of

workload for 31 parts on 12 workstations is shown in Table IV.

Figure 2.

Network for formulation

of second MCM cell

Part ws1 ws2 ws3 ws4 ws5 ws12 Load

2 5 0 3 0 4 3 15

3 8 4 4 5 3 4 28

7 6 0 6 0 6 8 26

13 3 0 0 0 0 0 3

16 6 0 0 12 0 0 18

17 0 2 0 0 0 9 11

19 7 0 1 6 0 2 16

21 0 7 0 12 12 0 31

22 14 0 12 0 0 0 26

26 0 0 5 7 0 0 12

29 2 3 5 0 7 0 17

31 7 5 0 0 8 0 20

Total 58 21 36 42 40 26 223

Table III.

Processing time of the

remaining parts and

workstations

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

191

Transformation to six MCM cells

The result of using same procedure to develop the transformation to six MCM cells is

presented inTable V.

Improving and balancing the workload

The next step is to improve and balance the workload among all MCMcells. Let us assume

that the goal is to achieve the standard amount of load/week for every workstation at 35

hour/week with deviation of 10 percent. Let us considered Cell 1 and Cell 2.

Workstations 1, 2, 4, 7, 10 are workstations that might be able to share among cells 1

and 2 (see Tables VI and VII).

Consider Cell#5 (145 percent) and Cell#6 (62 percent) (Table VIII). The modiﬁcation

in these two cells can be done in order to bring the percent of workload of these two

cells into tolerance limit (90 percent ,110 percent) (Figure 3).

Modiﬁcation can be done by adding WS1, WS3, WS6, WS12 to Cell#6, then

removing WS9 and Part 20 and Part 30 from Cell#5 to Cell#6. With this modiﬁcation,

the result is now:

Cell#5: WS5{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12}

P5: {2, 3, 11, 28, 29}

CL5 = 101(98.1 percent of workload)

Cell#6: WS6 {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12}

P6: {4, 20, 21, 24, 30}

CL6 = 108 (104.9 percent of workload)

Comments on the alternative solution

With this alternative solution, the workloads among the six cells become more balanced,

but the additional cost for adding more machines to Cell#5 is also require (Figure 4). The

company will make a choice between make or buy on expensive part (Table IX).

Cell Workstation Part Workload (%)

1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 1, 5, 6, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, 25 101

2 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12 4, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 20, 23, 24, 27, 28, 30 98

3 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12 2, 3, 7, 16, 19, 21, 22, 26, 29, 31 101

Table IV.

Summary of workload for

31 parts on 12

workstations

Cell Workstation Part Workload (%)

1 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12 6, 12, 13, 14, 18, 31 100

2 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 1, 19, 22, 25, 26 107

3 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12 5, 10, 16, 17 88

4 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12 7, 8, 9, 15, 23, 27 106

5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 2, 3, 11, 28, 29 98

6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12 4, 20, 21, 24, 30 105

Table V.

Sharing workstation by

more than one cell

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16,2

192

Summary and conclusions

This paper presents a new method of resource optimization through workload balance

in designing of multiple cellular manufacturing (MCM) systems for ﬂow-shop

environments. The application of a step-by-step structured approach to design MCM

cells more efﬁciently generates smooth ﬂow shop type with better resource utilization.

ws1 ws2 ws4 ws6 ws9 ws12

For Cell#3 and Cell#4

Cell#3 13 9 20 6 11 7

Cell#4 14 20 0 9 4 13

WS_load 27 29 20 15 15 20

Note: Since workloads on workstations 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 are less than 35, therefore these

workstations can be shared between Cell 3 and Cell 4 Table VII.

ws1 ws2 ws3 ws4 ws5 ws6 ws12

For Cell#5 and Cell#6

Cell#5 18 7 19 14 21 15 7

Cell#6 11 12 1 21 23 8 7

WS_load 29 19 20 35 44 23 14

Note: Since workloads on workstations 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 are less than 35, therefore these workstations

can be shared between Cell 5 and Cell 6 Table VIII.

Job ws1 ws2 ws4 ws7 ws10

Cell#1

6 4 3 5 0 6

12 0 3 0 7 9

13 3 0 0 0 0

14 4 0 0 0 0

18 2 2 0 0 0

31 7 5 0 0 0

Total 20 13 5 7 15

Cell#2

1 3 0 2 0 7

19 7 0 6 0 0

22 14 0 0 0 0

25 3 3 0 7 8

26 0 0 7 0 0

Total 27 3 15 7 15

Sharing same workstation

Cell#1 20 13 5 7 15

Cell#2 27 3 15 7 15

WS_load 47 16 20 14 30

Note: Since workload on workstations 2, 4, 7, and 10 are less than 35, therefore workstations 2, 4, 7, 10

can be shared between Cell 1 and Cell 2 Table VI.

Cellular

manufacturing

systems

193

An industrial application case with 31 products carried on 12 workstations is presented

to explore the step by steps of designing and analyzing the results of alternative

cellular manufacturing and balancing the workload. MCM designs have become an

important approach for batch production in the last decade, and their layout provides a

dominant ﬂow structure for the production scheduling. The ﬂow shop nature of MCM

adds a simplifying structure to the complexity of planning and scheduling. This

method will generate many alternative designs and conﬁgurations of MCM in the form

of highly ﬂexible manufacturing systems. These alternatives could be a better choice

for resource optimization in the industrial application. Together with the associated

costs, each proposed solution for the MCM could help to design and build efﬁcient and

highly ﬂexible systems. Special emphasis will be devoted to the workload balance of

workstations, machines, material handling equipment and WIP with the utilization of

the resources in the production system. This method is practical, experiential and

participates. A program using C language will be written to test the proposed

algorithm for randomly generated input data.

Figure 4.

Cell Workstation Part Workload (%)

1 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12 6, 12, 13, 14, 18, 31 100

2 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 1, 19, 22, 25, 26 107

3 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12 5, 10, 16, 17 88

4 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12 7, 8, 9, 15, 23, 27 106

5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 2, 3, 11, 28, 29 98

6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12 4, 20, 21, 24, 30 105

Table IX.

Summary for six MCM

cells) for 12 workstations

and 31 parts (alternative

solution)

Figure 3.

JMTM

16,2

194

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solving complex machine scheduling problems in manufacturing”, paper presented at the

GALESIA ’97: Conf. Genetic Algorithms in Eng. Syst.: Innovations and Appl, Stevenage,

IEE, pp. 326-31.

Cheng, R., Gen, M. and Tosawa, T. (1996), “Genetic algorithms for designing loop layout

manufacturing systems”, Comput. Indust. Eng, Vol. 31 No. 3/4, pp. 587-91.

Factory Optimization (2001), No 4, “Advanced planning and scheduling”, available at:

www.apsinsight.com/Optimisation1.html

Gen, M., Tsujimura, Y. and Kubota, E. (1994), “Solving job shop scheduling problems by genetic

algorithms”, Proceedings of the 1994 IEEE International Conference Syst., Man, Cybern.,

IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1577-82.

Jain, A.S. and Meeran, S. (1998), “A state-of-the-art review of job-shop scheduling techniques”,

Department of Applied Physics, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, University of

Dundee, Dundee.

King, J.R. and Nakarchai, V. (1982), “Machine-component grouping formation in group

technology: review and extension”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 20

No. 1, pp. 117-33.

Morad, N. (1997), “Optimisation of cellular manufacturing systems using genetic algorithms”,

PhD dissertation, University of Shefﬁeld, Shefﬁeld.

Murata, T., Ishibuchi, H. and Tanaka, H. (1996), “Multi-objective genetic algorithm and its

application to ﬂow-shop scheduling”, Comput. Indust. Eng., Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 957-68.

Yip-Hoi, D. and Dutta, P. (1996), “A genetic algorithm application for sequencing operations in

process planning for parallel machining”, IIE Trans, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 55-68.

Zhang, F., Zhang, Y.F. and Nee, A.Y.C. (1998), “Using genetic algorithms in process planning for

job shop machining”, IEEE Trans. Evol. Comput., Vol. 1 No. 4, pp. 278-89.

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