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Applied Mechanics and Materials Vol.

214 (2012) pp 500-504


Online available since 2012/Nov/12 at www.scientific.net
(2012) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland
doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.214.500

Facility Layout Model of Production Line Based on Operation Comfort


Puhong Li1,2, a, Zhijun Fan1,b,Jun Zhou1,c , Jianxin Deng1,d
1

School of Mechanical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250061,CHINA

School of Art Design, Shandong Polytechnic University, Jinan, 250353,CHINA


a

Lipuhong@126.com, fanzhijun@sdu.edu.cn, zhoujun@sdu.edu.cn

Keywords: Optimization Model; Facility Layout; Production Line; Operation Comfort; Manufacturing
System

Abstract. Combined operation comfort and logistics optimization into the facility layout model of the
production line, used Value Engineering theory, facility layout model of a production line based on
operation comfort is put forward. After then, the models characteristics are analyzed. Compared with
the traditional logistics-based model, this model optimizes simultaneously the workers' operation
comfort and logistics, not only to reduce the cost of production line, but also to increase the operating
quality, finally to enhance the production efficiency.
Introduction
As an important part of the manufacturing system, facility layout is closely relationship with the
equipment utilization, busy time and waiting time, and production line efficiency. In facility layout
design, the costs of material handling are considered firstly, but if just pursuing the lowest logistics
costs while ignoring the security and comfort of workers to operate, it is bound to cause bodily injury,
and a large number of occupational health compensation would pay. Therefore, in facility layout
design of the production line, simultaneously optimizing operation comfort and logistics is the better
choice.
Facility layout problems Overview
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 the process, lead times and
productivity. A facility layout is an arrangement of everything needed for production of goods or
delivery of services [1]. A good placement of facilities contributes to the overall efficiency of
operations and can reduce until 50% of the total operating expenses [2].
The layout form and optimization objectives The traditional form of layout is divided into fixed
product layout, process layout, product layout and cellular layout [3].With the development of
advanced manufacturing technologies, such as agile manufacturing, lean production, layout mode
changes, some new layout forms appear: group layout, distributed layout, reconfigurable layout,
which can respond quickly to the changing market needs. In the actual layout planning, not a single
layout is used, often a variety layout forms are used, which can play advantages of a single layout and
avoid its shortcomings.
Layout problems are known to be complex and are generally NP-Hard optimization, whose
objectives include two aspects of quantitative and qualitative: the quantized targets are the shortest
path of logistics, the minimum cost of material handling; the qualitative aspects are the safety,
comfort and aesthetics. Qualitative optimization objectives are secondary, generally to consider after
meeting the main optimization goal, and due to done from personal experience, lack of criteria. The
layout of the logistics-based optimization target because of neglecting the human factor, could reduce
productivity, increase operator fatigue, is easy lead to misoperation, eventually lead to products with
inferior quality.

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Applied Mechanics and Materials Vol. 214

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Operation comfort degree. In order to further improve the performance of the production line
layout design, many scholars study the human factor of production systems, the research aimed at the
human factors in the production system, other factors is the assessment of the ergonomics relevant
factors. On the basis of these studies, the concept of comfort is proposed.
Comfort is the subjective feeling, so it is commonly referred to as comfort. Due to the factors and
conditions that affect the comfort is complex, the concept is variable and it is difficult to quantify,
specifically referring to the satisfactory state of the majority of people at the aspects of physical and
psychological to the objective environment. In production systems, production line operations staff
operation comfort concept, is a kind of state of the physiological and psychological aspects of the
individual operating the equipment and the operation of the work, is the assessment of their work or
operation a positive emotional state.
Operation comfort not only by the workload, work posture, the environmental load and impact, but
also because of the influence of mental operations and perceived behavior. The main factors are
shown in Table 1.
Table 1 The factors affecting operation comfort
Influencing factors
Physical load
Environmental load
work posture and movement load

related content
Load weightHandling load frequencyPhysical operating time and
moving distance
temperature, lighting, noise, vibration and chemical substances
Physical exercise as well as standing, squatting, bending, twist, etc.

Mental load

mainly caused by the mental operations and perceived behavioral

How to correctly evaluate factors of operation comfort is the key to improving work comfort level,
prevent occupational musculoskeletal disorders. At present, the evaluation method of human factors
that exist in the workplace, in accordance with risk factors for exposure is divided into
self-assessment, observation and direct method[4]. Human factor coefficient eij is evaluated and
quantized by Entropy Method and AHP [5].
In the layout optimization of production line, if operation comfort considered, it would be able to
shorten the logistics path, reduce the material handling cost, improve the utilization rate of area,
improve efficiency, and also reduce the workers load, so as to decrease bad work gesture or
cumulative time, improve operation comfort, then reduce the occupational musculoskeletal damage
risk .
Layout Model of Operation Comfort-based of Production Line (LOC)
Since R. Muther put forward the systematic layout planning, many modeling optimization methods
were formulated, such as QAP, MIP, graph theory, neural network, Tabu search, simulated
annealing, genetic and ant colony algorithms, human-computer interaction. However, due to these
methods lack of the consideration the operation comfort, a layout model of production line based on
operation comfort is proposed.
Description of the problem Assume that there are n equipments in the production line, which is
expressed as M = (m1 , m2 , , mn ) .Fig. 1 shows the floor plan of M i and M j .
Y

Mj

Sj
O j ( X j ,Y j )

Yj

Mi
Yi

Si

Oi ( X i , Yi )

Xi

d ijx

Lj

d ijy

Li

Xj

Fig. 1 The floor plan of equipment M i and M j

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Green Power, Materials and Manufacturing Technology and Applications II

Value Engineering Value Engineering is a systematic method to improve the "Value" of goods
and services by using an examination of function. Value, as defined, is the ratio of Function to Cost,
i.e. V = F / C. Value can therefore be increased by either improving the Function or reducing the cost.
It is a primary tenet of Value Engineering that quality not is reduced as a consequence of pursuing
Value improvements [6].
The layout design of production line, under the premise function, the smaller its cost is, the greater
value of this production line is.
The logistics value (Vm) of production line layout. The logistics value is the ratio of completing
the job requirements to the material handling costs between the various devices in the current
equipment placement.
The indicators of the logistics value of the facility layout include the amount of logistics ( pij ) of
each handling, material handling frequency ( rij ),the unit material handling costs( fij ) per unit distance,
as well as distance ( dij ) between two facilities. The optimizing goal is to make transportation costs
( C m ) minimize. Thus, the logistics value is maximum the model is expressed as:
n

( p

Vm = F Cm = F

rij f ij dij ) = F

ij

i =1 j =1

( p

ij

rij fij ( X i X j )2 + (Yi Y j ) 2 )

(1)

i =1 j =1

The operation comfort (Ve) of production line layout. The operation comfort of production line
layout means that operators subjective satisfaction with the comfort of their work, completing the
operational requirements, in the current physical facilities arrangements of production line.
The indicators of the operation comfort include human factor coefficient ( eij ) and the operation
time ( tij ), and the goal is to make the operation comfort maximum, in order to decrease the operator s
cumulative occupational injury. Thus, its comfort function is:
n

Ve = F

( p

ij

(2)

rij eij tij )

i =1 j =1

Layout Model of operation comfort-based of production line LOC) LOC can described by the
total value V of production line layout ,which refers to the function which the facility layout design
synthetically considers the material handling costs and the operation comfort to achieve. With the
same conditions, the bigger the function is, the greater the total value of the layout of production line,
then the higher the chance of being selected is. The function is as follows:
n

( p

V = Vm + Ve = F

ij

rij f ij ( X i X j ) 2 + (Yi Y j ) 2 ) + F

i =1 j =1

( p

ij

rij eij tij )

(3)

i =1 j =1

Subject to.
Xi X j

Yi Y j

Si + S j
2

Li + L j
2

n 1

( X i X i +1 +
i =1

+ d ijx

(4)

+ d ijy

(5)

S i + S i +1
) LX
2

(6)

Applied Mechanics and Materials Vol. 214

n 1

( Yi Yi +1 +
i =1

503

Li + Li +1
) LY
2

(7)

LX , LY respectively express the workshop width along the direction of X , Y .


Eq. 4, 5 are the interval constraints; Eq.6, 7 are the boundary constraints.

The Comparison between Layout Model of Operation Comfort-based (LOC) and Layout
Model of Material Handling-based (LMM)
Different solution ways LOC takes simultaneously logistics optimization and operation comfort into
account. While, the traditional LMM is logistics optimization, on the basis of logistics optimization,
considers the operator comfort and safety. Due to these two different methods, it could lead to
different optimization results, so as to obtain the different layout form.
Different optimization results The optimization result of LOC is the overall optimum value,
while that of LMM is local optimum value.
Let: f1 is the logistics value; f2 is the operation comfort value. Assume there are three models:
Model 1 is based on the logistics optimization; Model 2 considers the operation comfort based on the
logistics optimization, and Model 3 is the LOC. Then:
Model 1: maxV1 = f1 ; Model 2: maxV2 = f2 ;Model 3: maxV3 = f3 = f1 + f2
Let :
f 1 is the optimum value of f1 obtained via solving model 1,; f 2 is the optimum value of f2

obtained via solving model 2,; f 3 is the optimum value of f3 obtained via solving model 3; f 13
is the
optimum value of f1 obtained via solving model 3. According to the Theorem[7]:
Then :
The sensitive coefficient of Logistics value and operation comfort. In order to analyze the
impact of logistics value and operation comfort to the total value of the layout, the adjustment
coefficients are introduced, called sensitive coefficient. So,the layout model is defined as:

V = 1Vm + 2Ve
n

= 1 F

( p

ij

i =1 j =1

rij fij ( X i X j ) + (Yi Y j ) ) +1 F

( p

ij

rij eij tij )

i =1 j =1

1, 2 is the sensitive coefficient, under the function of production line, to maintain total value of
layout not variable, the ratio relationship of logistics value and operation comfort can be adjust. This
ratio should be determined by the relevant experts and managers who are familiar with the industry or
job experience.
Conclusion
In this paper, a new model LOC is developed to deal with simultaneous logistics optimization and
operation comfort and combined into the facilities layout of production line. Firstly, the facilities
layout problem is described and assumed. Then, because the logistics indicators and operation
comfort indicators dont belong to the same dimensionless, the contribution of which to the overall
objective cannot be unified to quantify, the theory of value engineering is applied to measure the
contribution to the total value of the layout, establish a mathematical optimization model. Finally,
after analyzing the characteristics of the model, LOC is compared with the traditional model based on
logistics value (LMM), and the sensitive coefficient is introduced to be suitable for different
industries, so as to provide decision makers with a reasonable reference.

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Green Power, Materials and Manufacturing Technology and Applications II

References
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[4] Lin Sihao: Development a Tool for Comprehensive Evaluation of Ergonomic Exposure at the
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[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_engineering
[7] M.B.Aryanezhad,V.Deljoo,S.M.J.Mirzapour Al-e-hashem: Dynamic Cell Formation and the
Worker Assignment Problem: a New Model. Int J Adv Manuf Technol, Vol.41(2009),p. 329342

Green Power, Materials and Manufacturing Technology and Applications II


10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.214

Facility Layout Model of Production Line Based on Operation Comfort


10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.214.500
DOI References
[1] Amine Drira, Henri Pierreval, Sonia Hajri-Gabouj: Facility layout problems: A survey. Annual Reviews
in Control Vol. 31(2007), p.255267.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arcontrol.2007.04.001
[7] M.B. Aryanezhad,V. Deljoo S.M.J. Mirzapour Al-e-hashem: Dynamic Cell Formation and the Worker
Assignment Problem: a New Model. Int J Adv Manuf Technol, Vol. 41(2009), p.329342.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00170-008-1479-4