Title: Monte Carlo simulation methods for dynamic line layout problems with nonlinear movement costs

Authors: Wai Kin Victor Chan, Charles J. Malmborg

Addresses: Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA. ' Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA

Abstract: Monte Carlo simulation provides a risk management tool for solving line layout problems when material flow requirements change over time and/or are uncertain. This study demonstrates this capability for line layout problems where material handling costs are not directly proportional to the distance travelled, e.g., where individual material moves impose a fixed cost which is amortised over the length of the move. Nonlinear movement costs are modelled using a movement |discount factor| embedded in a Monte Carlo simulation model that is used to identify solutions performing at high, although not necessarily optimal, levels across a range of operating conditions. The procedure is demonstrated through a series of sample problems. [Received 09 September 2008; Revised 26 November 2008; Accepted 01 December 2008]

Keywords: dynamic line layout; materials handling; volume distance; Monte Carlo simulation; nonlinear movement costs; risk management; discount factors; industrial engineering; material flow.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2010.029569

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2010 Vol.4 No.1, pp.40 - 58

Received: 03 Sep 2008
Accepted: 17 Sep 2009

Published online: 30 Nov 2009 *

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