CELLULAR PRODUCTION SYSTEMS: A CONCURRENT CLUSTER ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK
In this paper an agglomerative heuristic cluster analysis framework is proposed for application to the part family and machine cell formation problems associated with Group Technology (GT). This framework addresses the notion of concurrently forming clusters of parts (families) and machines (cells) based upon natural between- part and between-machine relationships and the strength of association relating pairs of parts with pairs of machines. An illustrative model is presented in the conference session and operational aspects demonstrated using a small problem.
Charles T. Mosier, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5790, (315) 268-7719
G.E. Martin, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5790, (315) 268-6431
In recent years interest in Group Technology (GT) has been increasing and a large number of small-batch manufacturing firms have attempted to implement all or part of the techniques inherent in the concept. The focus of GT has been partitioned into three main thrusts . These are (a) part coding and identification, (b) group scheduling, and © cellular restructuring of production systems. It is the last of these three that is the focus of this paper. The most basic tenet of GT is that if the parts and machines of a small-batch manufacturing shop are partitioned into families and cells, respectively, most, if not all of the problems associated with the management of the shop will be greatly simplified. The benefits of such a rearrangement of the shop are intuitive, since smaller systems are in most ways easier to manage. The problem is to perform the partitioning such that management decisions made concerning a part family or machine cell do not negatively impact the function and performance of the remainder of the shop. To this end it is necessary to consider the form and nature of all structural interactions within the shop when attempting to partition the shop into cells.