Part family formation: coding and classification systems

  • Nanua Singh
  • Divakar Rajamani


Batch manufacturing produces a variety of different parts and accounts for 60–80% of all manufacturing activities (Chevalier, 1984). Moreover, at least 75% of all such parts are made in batches of less than 50 units (Groover, 1987). This large variety of parts and small batch sizes leads to part design and manufacturing inefficiencies such as inefficient use of design data, inaccuracies in planning and cost estimation, poor workflow, high tooling cost, high setup cost, large inventories and delivery problems. The remedy to these problems lay in sorting parts into families that have similar part design attributes and/or manufacturing attributes for a specific purpose. Design attributes include part shape (round or prismatic), size (length/diameter ratios), surface integrity (roughness, tolerance etc.), material type, raw material state (casting, bar stock etc.) etc. The part manufacturing attributes include operations (turning, milling etc.) and sequences, batch size, machine and cutting tools, processing times, production volumes etc.


Flexible Manufacturing System Group Technology Part Type Cellular Manufacturing Hierarchical Cluster Algorithm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Billo, R.E., Rucker, R. and Shunk, D. L. (1987) Integration of a group technology classification and coding system with an engineering database. Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 6(1), 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chevalier, P. W. (1984) Group technology as a CAD/CAM integrator in batch manufacturing. International Journal of Operations and Production Research, 3, 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dunlap, G. C. and Hirlinger, C. R. (1983) Well planned coding and classification system offers company wide synergistic benefits. Industrial Engineering, November, 78–83.Google Scholar
  4. Dutta, S. P., Lashkari, G., Nadoli, G. and Ravi, T. (1986) A heuristic procedure for determining manufacturing families from design-based grouping for flexible manufacturing systems. Computers and Industrial Engineering, 10(3), 193–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eckert, R. L. (1975) Codes and classification systems. American Machinist, December, 88–92.Google Scholar
  6. Fu, K. S. (1980) Recent developments in pattern recognition. IEEE Transactions on Computers, 29(10), 845–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gallagher, C. C. and Knight, W. A. (1986) Group Technology Production Methods in Manufacture, Ellis Horwood, Chichester.Google Scholar
  8. Gongaware, T. A. and Ham, I. (1981) Cluster analysis applications for group technology manufacturing systems, in Proceedings of the IX North American Metal-working Research Conference. Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Dearborn, MI, pp. 131–6.Google Scholar
  9. Groover, M. P. (1987) Automation, Production Systems and Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Kluwer-Nijhoff Publishing, Boston.Google Scholar
  10. Han, C. and Ham, I. (1986) Multiobjective cluster analysis for part family formations. Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 5(4), 223–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hyer, N. L. and Wemmerlov, U. (1984) Group technology and productivity, Harvard Business Review, 62(4), 140–9.Google Scholar
  12. Hyer, N. L. and Wemmerlov, U. (1985), Group technology oriented coding systems: structures, applications and implementation, Production and Inventory Management, 26, 55–78.Google Scholar
  13. Hyer, N. L. and Wemmerlov, U. (1989) Group technology in the US manufacturing industry: a survey of current practices. International Journal of Production Research, 27(8), 1287–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jackson, D. (1978) Cell System of Production, Business Books, London.Google Scholar
  15. Kasilingam, R. G. and Lashkari, R. S. (1990) Allocating parts to existing part families in cellular manufacturing systems. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 3, 3–12.Google Scholar
  16. Knight, W. A. (1974) Part family methods for bulk metal forming. International Journal of Production Research, 12(2), 209–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kusiak, A. (1983) Part families selection model for flexible manufacturing systems, in Proceedings of the Annual Industrial Engineering Conference, Louisville KY, pp. 575–80.Google Scholar
  18. Kusiak, A. (1985) The part families problem in flexible manufacturing systems. Annals of Operations Research, 3, 279–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Marion, D., Rubinovich, J. and Ham, I. (1986) Developing a group technology coding and classification scheme. Industrial Engineering, July, 90–7.Google Scholar
  20. Rajamani, D. (1993) Classification and coding of components for implementing a computerized inventory system for a television assembling industry. International Journal of Production Economics, 32, 133–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shiko, G. (1992) A process planning-oriented approach to part family formation in group technology applications. International Journal of Production Research, 30(8), 1739–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tatikonda, M. V. and Wemmerlov, U. (1992) Adoption and implementation of group technology classification and coding systems: insights from seven case studies. International Journal of Production Research, 30(9), 2087–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wemmerlov, U. (1990) Economic justification of group technology software: documentation and analysis of current practices. Journal of Operations Management, 9(4), 500–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wemmerlov, U. and Hyer, N. L. (1989) Cellular manufacturing in the US industry: a survey of users. International Journal of Production Research, 27(9), 1511–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nanua Singh
    • 1
  • Divakar Rajamani
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Manufacturing EngineeringWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

Personalised recommendations