A methodology to economically configure an automated guided vehicle based flexible manufacturing system (FMS) in terms of machine and material handling requirements is presented. The procedure uses the concept of simultaneous design to determine the number of machines required at each workstation in the FMS and the number of automated guided vehicles required to service the material handling needs of the system. The technique integrates decisions on machine requirements, vehicle requirement, and vehicle/container carrying capacity into a single cost model. Solution to the model automatically yields the best resource configuration for the shop that achieves the set production target while minimizing total manufacturing cost. A hybrid algorithm that combines numerical search, simulation, and statistical analysis is employed for solving the problem. The application of the design procedure is demonstrated with an example problem. Sensitivity analysis on machine and vehicle requirements due to changes in job attributes and unit transport quantities are also performed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering