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Title: Using social network analysis for industrial plant layout analysis in the context of industry 4.0

Authors: M.L.R. Varela; Vijay Kumar Manupati; Suraj Panigrahi; Eric Costa; Goran D. Putnik

Addresses: Department of Production and Systems, School of Engineering, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, NIT Warangal, Telangana, India ' Division of Manufacturing, School of Mechanical Engineering, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India ' Research, Innovation and Enterprise, Solent University, Southampton, UK; INESC TEC – INESC Technology and Science, Porto, Portugal ' Department of Production and Systems, School of Engineering, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal

Abstract: Social network analysis (SNA) is a widely studied research topic, which has been increasingly applied for solving different kinds of problems, including industrial manufacturing ones. This paper focuses on the application of SNA to an industrial plant layout problem. The study aims at analysing the importance of using SNA techniques to study the important relations between entities in a manufacturing environment, such as jobs and resources in the context of industrial plant layout analysis. Here, performance measures such as maximum completion time of jobs (makespan), resource utilisation, and throughput time have been considered to evaluate the system performance. Later, with the simulation analysis, the relationships between entities and their impact on the system performance are evaluated. The experimental results revealed that the proposed SNA approach supports to find the key machines of the systems that ultimately lead to the effective performance of the whole system. Finally, the identification of relations among these entities supported the establishment of an appropriate plant layout for producing the jobs in the context of industry 4.0.

Keywords: industry 4.0; industrial engineering; systems engineering; resource utilisation; throughput time; makespan; simulation; network modelling; FlexSim.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISE.2020.104313

International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2020 Vol.34 No.1, pp.1 - 19

Received: 17 Jun 2017
Accepted: 06 Apr 2018

Published online: 20 Dec 2019 *

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