The objective of this project is to solve the layout design problem of a manufacturing shop-floor, developing the most appropriate mathematical approaches and algorithms, and, when applicable, an expert system approach. These elements will be integrated in one software prototype which will provide the facility to evaluate a number of alternative designs in a user-friendly, interactive way.
The project will develop a software package made up of:
- a pre-processing module taking into account strategic decisions and manufacturing processes
- a manufacturing cell design module for grouping physical facilities into cells
- an intra-cell location module to arrange the physical facilities within cells according to manufacturing constraints
- a cell location module to assist placing the cells on the shop-floor, taking physical constraints into account.
The work will take account of the most current data formats in use for the specification of production systems, and the tools used for logistics, maintenance, production planning and physical design.
The project approach will be based on:
- identifying relevant sets of manufacturing criteria and constraints
- using and extending state-of-the-art mathematical algorithms
- enriching these algorithms with knowledge-based techniques, interactive graphical support and centralised information bases
- integrating the plant layout activity into the full process of production system design.
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