Virtual cell formation

Kuo Cheng Ko, Pius J. Egbelu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The concept of a virtual cellular manufacturing system (VCMS), which operates very much like a traditional cellular manufacturing system (CMS), has attracted considerable attention in recent years. Unlike traditional cellular manufacturing systems, virtual cellular manufacturing systems are most suitable in production environments that experience frequent product mix changes. Whereas, in traditional CMS, the shop floor configuration is fixed, in VCMS the shop floor configuration changes in response to changes in product mix over time. Therefore, the life of a given shop floor configuration continues as long as the product mix remains relatively unchanged. Furthermore, whereas in traditional cellular manufacturing systems, a machine cell occupies a contiguous region of the shop floor, the same is not necessarily true with virtual cells. Virtual manufacturing cells are simply logical cells in which the machines belonging to the same cell need not occupy the same contiguous area. Because cell members are logical instead of physical, machines in a cell can be at any location on the floor. In this paper, we present a methodology for designing virtual manufacturing cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2365-2389
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 20 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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