Performance Evaluation of a Flexible Manufacturing Cell with One Robot and Two Machines

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Urmia University of Technology, Urmia, Iran

2 Industrial Engineering Department, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

This study aims to investigate performance of a Flexible Manufacturing Cell (FMC) using stochastic processes approach. The cell under study here is comprised of one robot, two machines and a pallet. The robot working in this cell and also the machines might experience some random failures. As a result, the operations of loading and unloading as well as machining will be delayed until repairing the robots and/or machines. Processing and loading/unloading times have stochastic nature due to existence of different parts and also system operation characteristics. Meanwhile, times between failures of robots and machines are considered stochastic in addition to their repairing times. It has been assumed here that processing times, loading/unloading times, times between two consecutive failures of robots and machines, and required time for their repair obey an exponential distribution. Performance of the cell and optimal capacity of the pallet as well as optimal speed of the robot in terms of cell costs minimization are evaluated.

Keywords