A New Multi-Objective Model for a Cell Formation Problem Considering Machine Utilization and Alternative Process Routes (RESEARCH NOTE)


1 Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science & Technology

2 Industrial Engineering, Islamic Azad University-South Tehran Branch

3 Industrial Engineering, University of Tehran

4 Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST)


This paper presents a novel, multi-objective mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model for a cell formation problem (CFP) with alternative means. Due to existing contradiction among objectives, three are considered: 1) Minimizing the total cost consisting of; intercellular movements, purchasing, operation, and maintenance; 2) maximizing the utilization of machines in the system; 3) minimizing the deviation levels between the cell utilization (i.e., balancing the workload between cells). Furthermore, alternative process for each part, which is a key characteristic for flexible manufacturing systems, is considered in this paper. The main goals of our proposed model are to; 1) Select a process plan for each part with minimum cost, simultaneous machine grouping and complete series of all parts; 2) Identify the appropriate level of overall utilization of machines; 3) Balancing the workload among the cells in the production system.