Integrated cell formation and layout planning for manufacturing cells design

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Young Bai Moon


Integrated cell formation, Layout planning, Manufacturing cells

Subject Categories

Aerospace Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


This research presents a comprehensive computerized methodology to deal with cell formation and layout plan simultaneously. The design of a cellular manufacturing system requires multiple-step processes which consist of two major design stages: cell formation stage and layout plan stage. Each stage consists of two problems: machine cell formation and part family formation for cell formation stage, and intracell and intercell layout for layout plan stage. The research is motivated by (1) a lack of a comprehensive methodology to deal with all the major problems simultaneously and the associated key practical issues, and (2) a need for a computerized algorithm which integrates cell formation stage and layout plan stage, guarantees consistency in design results, and provides flexibility in selecting design issues for a broad range of application. Three major objectives of this research are (i) to address the two stages simultaneously for designing manufacturing cells, (ii) to develop a comprehensive methodology which can incorporate all the major problems and many practical issues, and (iii) to prove the validity and usefulness of the methodology by developing a computerized algorithm to implement the comprehensive methodology. Cell formation stage in this research consists of three processes: (1) initial formation of machine cells, (2) refinement of machine cell formation and part family formation, and (3) machine duplication for eliminating exceptional parts. A new solution technique is developed to generate initial cell formation. Heuristic algorithms are used to refine the initial cell formation and duplicate machines. The new technique solves a network model using a new similarity coefficient and a maximum-flow minimum-cut theorem, and guarantees an optimal solution. A flow line layout is developed to plan intracell and intercell layout. This flow line layout is constructed with a cut approach and layout patterns. The proposed comprehensive methodology has been applied to five case studies, and the results have been analyzed with several evaluation measures for cell formation or layout plan. The evaluation results for the cell formation stage are at least equivalent, or better, to those in other previous approaches. In addition, the proposed methodology has significantly reduced the gap between academic research and the practices in industry.


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