1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Helwan University, Helwan, Cairo, 11792, EGYPT
2Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204, USA
3Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 40292, USA.
One of the designs of cellular manufacturing systems (CMS) requires that a machine population be partitioned into machine cells. Numerous methods are available for clustering machines into machine cells. One method involves using a similarity coefficient. Similarity coefficients between machines are not absolute, and they still need more attention from researchers. Although there are a number of similarity coefficients in the literature, they do not always incorporate the important properties of a similarity coefficient satisfactorily. These important properties include alternative routings, processing time, machine capacity (reliability), machine capability (flexibility), production volume, product demand, and the number of operations done on a machine. The objectives of this paper are to present a review of the literature on similarity coefficients between machines in CMS, to propose a new similarity coefficient between machines incorporating all these important properties of similarity, and to propose a machine cell heuristic approach to group machines into machine cells. An example problem is included and demonstrated in this paper.
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