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Dynamic cellular manufacturing under multiperiod planning horizons

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this research paper is to discuss cellular manufacturing is discussed under conditions of changing product demand. Traditional cell formation procedures ignore any changes in demand over time from product redesign and other factors. However given that in today's business environment, product life cycles are short, a framework is proposed that creates a multi-period cellular layout plan including cell redesign where appropriate. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The framework is illustrated using a two-stage procedure based on the generalized machine assignment problem and dynamic programming. This framework is conceptually compared to virtual cell manufacturing, which is useful when there is uncertainty in demand rather than anticipated changes in demand. A case study is used to explain how the concept would work in practice. Findings ‐ One major characteristic of the proposed method is that it is flexible enough to incorporate existing cell formation procedures. It is shown through an example problem that the proposed two-stage method is better than undergoing ad hoc layout changes or ignoring the demand changes when shifting or cell rearrangement costs exist. It also sheds some insight into cellular manufacturing under dynamic conditions. Originality/value ‐ This paper should be useful to both researchers and practitioners who deal with demand changes in cellular manufacturing.

Keywords: Cellular manufacturing; Flexible labour; Virtual work

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-07-01

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