Development of the MAIN algorithm for a cellular manufacturing machine layout

W. M. Chan, Ching Yuen Chan, Chun Kit Kwong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


When a static machine layout is simply optimized to a fixed quantitative demand, it may not be able to cope with demand fluctuations. The development of a heuristic approach called the MAIN (Machines Allocation INter-relationship) algorithm for intracellular machine layout design is introduced. It begins by analysing a single period with a fixed quantitative demand and machine assignment is based on a set of proposed objective functions together with merging techniques. To simulate the demand fluctuations in a multiple periods planning horizon, layouts are generated to fit different demand profiles. Each layout is then processed further. First, at every periodic transition, there is re-layout to minimize the material-handling cost. Second, we will examine the condition of using a layout right through all the periods to keep away from the machine rearrangement cost with some scarifications of the material-handling cost. Comparisons will be done to seek out good machine layout(s). In terms of a single-period layout, the experimental results show that the proposed heuristic algorithm can achieve an average deviation of 4.8% in contrast with optimal solutions. However, to opt for re-layout or not depends very much on the relations between the machine rearrangement and material-handling costs. Moreover, the variations in the qualitative aspects in material handling will also be considered as it has significant influence on the design of the machine layout.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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