Concurrent design of facility layout and flow-based department formation



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Texas A&M University


The design of facility layout takes into account a number of issues including the formation of departments, the layout of these, the determination of the material handling methods to be used, etc. To achieve an efficient layout, these issues should be examined simultaneously. However, in practice, these problems are generally formulated and solved sequentially due to the complicated nature of the integrated problem. Specifically, there is close interaction between the formation of departments and layout of these departments. These problems are treated as separate problems that are solved sequentially. This procedure is mainly due to the complexity of each problem and the interrelationships between them. In this research, we take a first step toward integrating the flow-based department formation and departmental layout into comprehensive mathematical models and develop appropriate solution procedures. It is expected that these mathematical models and the solution procedures developed will generate more efficient manufacturing system designs, insights into the nature of the concurrent facility layout problem, and new research directions.