Performance Comparison of Cellular Manufacturing Configurations in Different Demand Profiles

Performance Comparison of Cellular Manufacturing Configurations in Different Demand Profiles

Paolo Renna (University of Basilicata, Italy) and Michele Ambrico (University of Basilicata, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-047-7.ch017
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


Cellular manufacturing systems (CMSs) are an effective response in the economic environment characterized by high variability of market. The aim of this chapter is to compare different configurations of cellular models through the main performance. These configurations are fractal CMS (defined FCMS) and cellular systems with remainder cells (defined RCMS), compared to classical CMS used as a benchmark. FCMSs consist of a cellular system characterized by identical cells each capable of producing all types of parts. RCMSs consist of a classical CMS with an additional cell (remainder cell) that in specific conditions is able to perform all the technological operations. A simulation environment based on Rockwell ARENA® has been developed to compare different configurations assuming a constant mix of demand and different congestion levels. The simulation results show that RCMSs can be a competitive alternative to traditional cells developing opportune methodologies to control the loading of the cells.
Chapter Preview


Competitiveness in today’s market is much more intense compared to the past decades. Considerable resources are invested on facilities planning and re-planning in order to adapt the manufacturing systems to the market changes. A well-established manufacturing philosophy is the group technology concept.

Group technology (GT) can be defined as a manufacturing philosophy identifying similar parts and grouping them together to take advantage of their similarities in manufacturing and design (Selim et al.,1998). It is the basis of so-called cellular manufacturing systems (CMSs). In current production scenario demand for products is characterized by continuous fluctuations in terms of volumes, type of product (part mix), new products introduction and the life cycle of products has significantly reduced. The planning horizon needs to be divided into smaller horizons (time bucket) and the length of each period is related to the characteristics of products. These characteristics need to be considered in design process of a manufacturing system. Introduction of Cellular Manufacturing Systems has already introduced significant improvements. They are conceived with the aim of reducing costs such as setup costs or handling costs and also to reduce lead time and work in process (WIP). They combine advantages of flow shop and job shop, but a further step can be accomplished to be competitive in the market. They allow significant improvements such as: product quality, worker satisfaction, space utilization. Benefits and disadvantages (Irani et al.,1999) are showed in Table 1. They documented that companies implementing cellular manufacturing have a very high probability of obtaining improvements in various areas.

Table 1.
Benefits and disadvantages of CMS
MeasurePercentage cases with
Average percentage
Percentage cases with
Average percentage
Tooling cost31%-10%69%+17%
Labor cost91%-33%9%+25%
Setup Time84%-53%16%+32%
Cycle Time84%-40%16%+30%
Machine utilization53%+33%47%-20%
Product quality90%+31%10%-15%
Worker satisfaction95%+36%5%-
Space utilization17%-25%83%+40%
WIP inventory87%-58%13%+20%
Labor turnover/absenteeism100%-50%0-
Variable production cost93%-18%7%+10%

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: