Citation: COMPUTERS & INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Volume: 56 Issue: 4 Pages: 1340-1347
Abstract: Batch type production strategies need adoption of cellular manufacturing (CM) in order to improve operational effectiveness by reducing manufacturing lead time and costs related to inventory and material handling. CM necessitates that parts are to be grouped into part families based on their similarities in manufacturing and design attributes. Then, machines are allocated into machine cells to produce the identified part families so that productivity and flexibility of the system can be improved. Zero-one part-machine incidence matrix (PMIM) generated from route sheet information is commonly presented as input for clustering of parts and machines. An entry of '1' in PMIM indicates that the part is visiting the machine and zero otherwise. The output is generated in the form of block diagonal structure where each block represents a machine cell having more than one machines and a part family. The major limitations of this approach lies in the fact that important production factors like operation time, sequence of operations, and lot size of the parts are not accounted for. In this paper, an attempt has been made to propose a clustering methodology based on adaptive resonance theory (ART) for addressing these issues. Initially, a methodology considering only the operation sequence of the parts has been proposed. Then, the methodology is suitably modified to deal with combination of operation sequence and operation time of the parts to address generalized cell formation (CF) problem. A new performance measure is proposed to quantify the performance of the proposed methodology. The performance of the proposed algorithm is tested with benchmark problems from open literature and the results are compared with the existing methods. The results clearly indicate that the proposed methodology outperforms the existing methods in most cases.