Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A tool for generating optimum facilities layouts under demand uncertainty with/without machine breakdown

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Pupong Pongcharoen, Professor Christian Hicks



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Manufacturing systems are subject to many uncertainties including variability in demand and machine breakdown. The layout of manufacturing facilities has a large impact on lead-times, inventory, costs and delivery performance. The distance travelled by materials is a commonly used proxy for the efficiency of layouts. It is common for planners to avoid production interruptions by adopting alternative routings if machines are unavailable due to breakdown or maintenance. Demand uncertainty and rerouting both have an impact on material flow. The objective of layout design is to produce a block plan that shows the relative positioning of resources. A block plan can then be translated into a detailed layout drawing. The facility layout problem is an NP complete combinatorial optimisation problem, which means that the time taken to solve problems using enumerative search increases exponentially with problem size. This paper presents the development of the Genetic Algorithm (GA) based layout design tool for generating robust layouts that minimises the distance travelled by materials and costs taking into account demand uncertainty and machine maintenance. The experimental programme used eight datasets with/without machine breakdown. It identified the relationship between the GA parameters, distance travelled and the cost of relocating equipment. There is a trade-off between minimising material travel distance and costs; the results provide a framework for evaluating investments in layout redesign.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vitayasak S, Pongcharoen P, Hicks C

Editor(s): Grubbstrom,RW;Hinterhuber,H;

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 18th International Working Seminar on Production Economics

Year of Conference: 2014

Date deposited: 22/05/2015