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Towards measuring the effectiveness of a facilities layout
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Dhamodharan Raman, S Nagalingam, G Lin
Performance measurement models are essential to support various decision making problems that may arise during life cycle of a facilities layout. Available models are only suitable for early stages in the design phase of life cycle. However, measurement models have a great consequence in other phases also such as production planning, control and when modification to be incorporated due to the changes in market demand, which happens very often in today's global competition. In addition, the existing models have considered only material handling cost as the performance measurement factor. Nevertheless, the empty travel of material handling equipment, layout flexibility and area utiisation have a significant contribution towards the layout effectiveness. It is therefore necessary to have a measurement model to determine the facilities layout's effectiveness by considering all significant factors. A measurement model considering a set of three layout effectiveness factors-facilities layout flexibility (FLF), productive area utilisation (PAU) and closeness gap (CG)-is developed in our research. The proposed model will enable the decision-maker of a manufacturing enterprise to analyse a layout in three different aspects, based on which they can make a decision towards productivity improvement. This paper mainly discusses about the measurement of the CG. The CG is developed with respect to the objective of bringing closer the highly interactive facilities/departments. The CG presented in this paper extends other related works by incorporating numerous aspects of layout that include empty travel material handling equipment, information flow, personnel flow and equipment flow.