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Reconfigurability in cellular manufacturing systems: a design model and multi-scenario analysis

  • Marco BortoliniEmail author
  • Francesco Gabriele Galizia
  • Cristina Mora
  • Francesco Pilati
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
  • 66 Downloads

Abstract

Within cellular manufacturing systems (CMSs), families of parts are assigned to manufacturing cells, composed by homogeneous sets of machines. In conventional CMSs, each cell is devoted to the production of a specific part family, reducing material handling and work-in-process. Despite their flexibility, such systems still suffer from coping with the present market challenges asking for dynamic part mix and the need of agility in manufacturing. To meet these challenges, the recent literature explores the idea of including elements of the emerging reconfigurable manufacturing paradigm in the design and management of CMSs, leading to the cellular reconfigurable manufacturing system (CRMS) concept. The aim of this paper is to propose an original linear programming optimization model for the design of CRMSs with alternative part routing and multiple time periods. The production environment consists of multiple cells equipped with reconfigurable machine tools (RMTs) made of basic and auxiliary custom modules. By changing the auxiliary modules, different operations become available on the same RMT. The proposed approach determines the part routing mix and the auxiliary module allocation best balancing the part flows among RMTs and the effort to install the modules on the machines. The approach discussion is supported by a literature case study, while a multi-scenario analysis is performed to assess the impact of different CMS configurations on the system performances, varying both the number of cells and the RMT assignment to each of them. A benchmarking concludes the paper comparing the proposed CRMS against a conventional CMS configuration. The analysis shows relevant benefits in terms of reduction of the intercellular travel time (− 58.6%) getting a global time saving of about 53.3%. Results prove that reconfigurability is an opportunity for industries to face the dynamics of global markets.

Keywords

Cellular manufacturing Reconfigurable manufacturing systems Reconfigurability Modularity Optimization 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Management and EngineeringUniversity of PadovaVicenzaItaly

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