Title: Worker efficiency and job criticality consideration in virtual cellular manufacturing environments

Authors: R.V. Murali, G. Prabhakaran, A.B. Puri, D. Ragavesh

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Caledonian College of Engineering, PB 2322, PC 111, Sultanate of Oman. ' Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Caledonian College of Engineering, PB 2322, PC 111, Sultanate of Oman. ' National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, West Bengal, PIN – 713209, India. ' Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, Caledonian College of Engineering, PB 2322, PC 111, Sultanate of Oman

Abstract: Recently, virtual cellular manufacturing (VCM) environment and related production criteria have been the subject of research among the industrial engineers and academicians to realise the true benefits associated with it. Major thrust areas in VCM include cell formation (single resource constrained-SRC) and worker assignment and flexibility (dual resource constrained-DRC) related issues. The subject of this study is the later part i.e., DRC systems with worker flexibility and assignments. In VCM-DRC systems related research, the workers of each department were assumed to be of equal efficiency and no interdepartmental differences in efficiency existed. Further, criticality of jobs, an important empirical aspect, was not accounted for worker assignment scheme. This paper proposes a binary integer programming (BIP) formulation for worker assignments into virtual cells considering job criticality and varied worker efficiencies with three objectives namely maximising number of highly efficient workers to process critical jobs, minimising the need of cross training and minimising multi-cell assignment for workers. This approach has been applied to an existing VCM design problem and its performance has been analysed and discussed.

Keywords: virtual cellular manufacturing; VCM; worker efficiency; job criticality; manufacturing cells; critical jobs; virtual manufacturing; cell formation; worker assignment; flexibility; dual resource constrained; virtual cells.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAOM.2009.030673

International Journal of Advanced Operations Management, 2009 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.203 - 223

Published online: 30 Dec 2009 *

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