Machine Cell Formation Based on a New Similarity Coefficient

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Helwan University, Helwan, Cairo, 11792, EGYPT

2 Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204, USA

3 Department 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.


Main Subjects

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Volume 1, Issue 4 - Serial Number 4
January 2008
Pages 318-344
  • Receive Date: 19 January 2007
  • Revise Date: 29 May 2007
  • Accept Date: 14 October 2007
  • First Publish Date: 01 January 2008