Title: A new approach for formation of virtual cells

Authors: P. Praveen, Boppana V. Chowdary, S.G. Deshmukh, P. Prasant

Addresses: School of Engineering Systems, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia. ' Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Hauz Khas, New Delhi-110016, India. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Box 352600, Seattle, WA 98195-2600, USA

Abstract: In this paper, a new approach for cell formation that integrates machine grouping and layout design, neglecting part-family formation, has been presented. The procedure includes four phases. In Phase 1, primary cells are formed by dividing operations into three ranges. Phase 2 involves redesigning of primary cells for minimisation of the number of intercell travels and to address the machine duplication problem. Phase 3 involves decomposition of individual primary cells into sub-cells. Phase 4 involves forced decomposition of sub-cells to obtain multiple cell designs. The efficacy of the methodology is demonstrated through an illustrative example.

Keywords: cellular manufacturing; job shops; virtual cells; cell formation; intercell flows; intracell flows; machine grouping; operations sequencing; manufacturing cells; machine grouping; layout design; cell design; cell layout.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMR.2009.024536

International Journal of Manufacturing Research, 2009 Vol.4 No.2, pp.171 - 188

Available online: 09 Apr 2009 *

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