A part-and-tool assignment method for the workload-balance between machines and the minimisation of tool-shortage occurrences in an FMS

Y. C. Ho, H. W. Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we look into the loading problem of a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) that is made up of several identical flexible manufacturing machines (CMMs). These machines are capable of different operations as long as the required tools are provided to them. The loading problem studied in this paper is a pre-release problem that deals with the pre-assignment of parts and tools before the process of an FMS begins. There are two objectives that one would like to achieve. They include minimising the number of tool-shortage occurrences and balancing the workload between machines. Since one cannot directly minimise the number of tool-shortage occurrences at the current pre-release stage, a surrogate objective of minimising the total tool-capacity shortage (TTCS) is adopted. Furthermore, because of the 'tool movement policy' assumption, our loading problem only involves assigning parts and tools to each machine. In this paper, we propose a part-and-tool assignment method that combines fuzzy c-means, SA (simulated annealing), and an optimal tool-assignment algorithm. The proposed part-and-tool assignment method is designed to be interactive. Because of this interactive nature, human designers can experiment with different evaluation criteria or reset the parameters of SA to look for alternative solutions. An example is given which illustrates the proposed part-and-tool assignment method. From the example, one can see that the proposed method is very efficient and effective in finding good-quality solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1860
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume43
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2005

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