Dynamic From-Between Chart: A Solution to Dynamic Facility
Layout Problems
C.N. Nayak, C. Subramani, and K.K. Krishnan
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, College of Engineering
1. Introduction
According to [1], the material handling cost comprises
about 20-50% of the total operating cost of the facility
layout. Typical research on facility layout concentrate on
static layout problems where from-to charts are used to
evaluate the layout. These layouts are not flexible enough
to accommodate any future changes in production.
Research on dynamic facility layout also has used the
concept of static from-to chart. A more efficient method
of modifying the layout is to perform rearrangement
whenever there are changes in production rates or product
mix. This necessitates a development of methodology that
exactly reflects these uncertainties. This paper introduces
the concept of dynamic from-between chart to determine
the layout redesign points. An algorithm that minimizes
the total cost of material handling and redesign has also
been developed. A genetic algorithm approach is then
used to validate the use of dynamic from-between chart.
Effectiveness of the developed methodology is illustrated
using a case study that resulted in a consistently improved
performance compared to traditional methods in terms of
cost.
2. Experiment, Results, Discussion and Significance
The Dynamic from-between chart is generated based
on process plan and expected production rates. As the
production demands are continuously changing, the
demand data along with the process plan can be used to
develop a dynamic from-between chart. Let fr(t) represent
the product demand function for product ‘r’ for time
period ranging from time t = 0 to t = ‘T’. The function gij
(t) for the dynamic flow between any two facility
locations ‘i’ and ‘j’ is given by the summation of flows
between ‘i’ and ‘j’ for all products from 1 to M.
∑
=
=
M
r
rij ijrXtftg
1
)()( (1)
The dynamic from-between chart is a plot of all g ij (t)
with respect to time‘t’, where i can have values from 1 to
N-1 facilities and j from i+1 to N. Xijr is a binary number
which has a value 1 when there is flow between facilities
‘i’ and ‘j’ for product r. The general equation that
determines the cost Z of the layout, when no redesign is
performed is given by:
CZ
Tt
t
N
ij
Ni
i
*D*dt (t)g ij
0
ij
1
1
1
∫∑∑ =
=+=
−=
=
= (2)
Where, Dij – the distance between facilities ‘i’ and ‘j’
C – Cost of material handling/unit distance
The objective function requires the minimization of
‘Z’, the total cost. If ‘m-1’ numbers of redesigns are
performed at periods t1, t2, t3, t4…tm-1, then three cost
components have to be considered. The first component
is the cost of material handling for each period. The
second component is the fixed cost associated with the
dismantling and movement of the departments. The third
component is the variable cost associated with
departments which depends on the distance and difficulty
to move each department. Let Px = {t0, t1, t2, t3…tm-1,
tm=T}, the set of time intervals at which redesign is
performed. Where, tm=T = end of planning horizon. Thus
number of redesigns, P0 = t0, P1 = t1…Pm = tm-1 = T. The
sum of the costs of material handling for each period is
given by:
C*D* (t)g ijkij
1
1
1
1
0
1
dtM
k
k
tt
tt
N
ij
Ni
i
mk
k
∫∑∑∑ +
=
=+=
−=
=
−=
=
= (3)
Let D = {D0, D1, D2… Dm} represent the set of layout
designs corresponding to each period. D0 represents the
current layout and Dm represents the layout corresponding
to the last period. Then the fixed cost of rearrangement is
given by:
F 1kk,
1
0
+
−=
=
∑= mk
k
F (4)
The variable rearrangement cost is given by the
summation of the variable costs for transition from one
period to the next period. The variable costs depend on
the distance through which the departments are moved
during each redesign.
79
(5) V 1kk,
1
0
+
−=
=
∑= mk
k
V
For a problem with ‘N’ departments/locations, the
variable cost for transition from period ‘k’ to ‘k+1’ is
given by:
lX1,kk,
1
1, C D +
=
+ ∑= N
X
kkV
(6)
Dk,k+1,X represents the distance between centroids of
department ‘X’ (ranges from 1…N) in period k and k+1.
C1 = Cost of moving Department X from k to k+1
Thus, the total cost of material handling for the entire
period is given by:
Z = M + F + V (7)
Case Study
For demonstrating the development of the dynamic
from-between chart a case study of eight products, nine
departments, and 20 periods is used. For this case study
all departments are considered to be equal sized (40 x 50).
Equations for product Demand is as follows:
73.748.4t 102.38t-6.6t0.136t- 234)( +++=atf (8)
……………………………………………
74.93132.9t30.2t-2.9t0.077t- 234)( +++=htf (9)
Table1: Process Sequence
A 1--3--5--7--8--9--2
B 2--4--6--7--1--9
C 4--7--8--2--5--6
D 6--9--3--2--1--4--8
E 8--6--4--1--3--2
F 1--6--7--9--2--4--3
G 2--5--7--6--1--3--4
H 3--6--7--8--1
Based on the product demand and the process
sequence (Table 1), a plot of the dynamic from-to charts
is developed (Figure 1). Currently, the redesign points are
clustered as groups and the first redesign point of each
cluster is used for redesign analysis. A recursive genetic
algorithm is used to determine the best layout for each
period.
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
1--2
1--3
1--4
1--6
1--7
1--8
1--9
2--3
2--4
2--5
2--8
2--9
3--4
3--5
3--6
3--9
4--6
4--7
4--8
4--9
5--6
5--7
5--8
5--9
6--7
6--8
6--9
7--8
7--9
8--9
Figure 1. Dynamic From-To Chart
The cost associated with each approach is shown in
Table 2. Based on the case study conducted, it is revealed
that the dynamic from-between chart approach to select
redesign points yields improved solutions compared to
the traditional approaches.
Table 2: Comparison of Costs
Forward Backward Redesign at Single Optimal
Approach Approach every 4 Layout for
Proposed Proposed quarters 20 periods
Total Cost 329339043 329283924 329442067 338542522
Savings 9203479 9258598 9100455
3. Conclusions
This paper has presented a new approach to the
solution of dynamic facility design problems. The
approach models the product demand function as a
continuous one and uses the information to develop a
dynamic from-between chart. The relative changes in the
values of from-between chart are utilized to determine the
redesign points. Once the redesign points are determined
a forward GA approach is utilized to establish the optimal
designs for each redesign period. Based on the case
study, it is revealed that the proposed approach is
superior to other existing approaches. Future research
involves developing an algorithmic approach to the
selection of redesign points. We are also investigating
methods by which the impact of material-handling
devices on the possible redesign of layouts can be
determined.
4. Reference
[1] Tompkins, J.A. and White, J.A., Bozer, Y., Z., Tanchoco, J., M., A.,
2003, Facilities Planning, third edition (New York: Wiley).
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