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Setting-up material handling network in manufacturing systems using graph theory

Setting-up material handling network in manufacturing systems using graph theory PurposeMaterial handling (MH) is an important facility in any manufacturing system. It facilitates the transport of in-process material from one workstation (WS) to another. MH devices do imply incurring capital costs and, therefore, minimizing their deployment without compromising on smooth material flow will ensure savings in addition to the optimal use of productive shop floor space and, avoid space cluttering. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the minimal network that connects all the WSs, therefore ensuring economic and safe manufacturing operations.Design/methodology/approachGraph theoretical approach and Prim’s algorithm for minimal spanning tree is used to evaluate the minimal span of the MH devices. The algorithm is initialized by translating the graph of WSs into a distance matrix to evaluate the minimal MH network.FindingsThe minimal length of the MH devices is evaluated for a typical case study.Research limitations/implicationsThe step-by step methodology explained in the manuscript acts as a good guide for practicing operational managers. The shortcoming of the methodology is that, it presumes the use of modular MH devices that will need to be reconfigured based on dynamic changes to the manufacturing system.Practical implicationsThe methodology is explained in detail to enable the practicing managers to use it for designing their MH networks in any manufacturing system.Originality/valueThere is no evidence to indicate the use of minimal spanning tree algorithm for design of MH networks in a manufacturing system. This paper attempts to fill this gap. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Advances in Management Research Emerald Publishing

Setting-up material handling network in manufacturing systems using graph theory

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0972-7981
DOI
10.1108/JAMR-08-2017-0084
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeMaterial handling (MH) is an important facility in any manufacturing system. It facilitates the transport of in-process material from one workstation (WS) to another. MH devices do imply incurring capital costs and, therefore, minimizing their deployment without compromising on smooth material flow will ensure savings in addition to the optimal use of productive shop floor space and, avoid space cluttering. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the minimal network that connects all the WSs, therefore ensuring economic and safe manufacturing operations.Design/methodology/approachGraph theoretical approach and Prim’s algorithm for minimal spanning tree is used to evaluate the minimal span of the MH devices. The algorithm is initialized by translating the graph of WSs into a distance matrix to evaluate the minimal MH network.FindingsThe minimal length of the MH devices is evaluated for a typical case study.Research limitations/implicationsThe step-by step methodology explained in the manuscript acts as a good guide for practicing operational managers. The shortcoming of the methodology is that, it presumes the use of modular MH devices that will need to be reconfigured based on dynamic changes to the manufacturing system.Practical implicationsThe methodology is explained in detail to enable the practicing managers to use it for designing their MH networks in any manufacturing system.Originality/valueThere is no evidence to indicate the use of minimal spanning tree algorithm for design of MH networks in a manufacturing system. This paper attempts to fill this gap.

Journal

Journal of Advances in Management ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 5, 2018

References