Groupe d’études et de recherche en analyse des décisions

G-91-07

A Graph Theory Approach to Subcontracting, Machine Duplication and Intercell Moves in Cellular Manufacturing

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We address in this paper the problem of finding an optimal strategy for dealing with bottleneck machines and bottleneck parts in the cell formation process in group technology. Three types of economic decisions are considered: subcontracting, machine duplication and intercell moves. The problem is formulated as a minimum weighted node covering problem in a hypergraph, and we show that it can be solved in polynomial time by finding a maximum weighted stable set in a bipartite graph. We extend this result to cellular manufacturing systems in which the sequence of operations of each part is known in advance.

, 20 pages