Multi-channel manufacturing with compatible machines

Islier B. T. , Islier A. A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRODUCTION RESEARCH, vol.50, no.12, pp.3315-3327, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Multi-channel manufacturing (MCM) is a noteworthy approach offered as a kind of fractal manufacturing. Here cells are organised as channels. Machines are lined up to facilitate streamlined materials flow. Their replication in individual and separate channels is allowed. The machines are grouped in such a way to form channels that any product is prone to be produced at least in one channel. In addition, important parts are subject to production in more channels to prevent congestion. On the other hand, one-to-one association of operations to machines as in classical grouping techniques seems very restrictive. In fact any machine is capable of fulfilling more then one kind of task, and any operation is possibly accomplished in more than one kind of machine. In other words, compatible machines should not be overlooked. In this study, enhancing of MCM with compatible machines is aimed. Numerical experience has proved the superiority of the proposed method to form manufacturing cells.