Capacity assignment of virtual manufacturing cells by applying lot size harmonization
Decentralized manufacturing cells minimize the lead time of products. However, technical and economical restrictions can prohibit the installation of permanent cells. A possibility to overcome these restrictions is 'virtual manufacturing cells'. These cells are defined by production teams who are responsible for the complete process of a group of products. Unlike permanent cells, the layout can be kept in a workshop structure. This results in a double competition between the orders and between production teams for the use of capacities. A new approach to solving this double competition is to limit the occupation time of capacity units. Combined with alternating access to resources by the production teams, this ensures a clearly defined order sequence. A successful way to achieve the limitation of occupation time is the harmonization of lot sizes. This analytical method should be supported by simulation to consider the dynamic behaviour. The authors have developed a simu lation reference model to limit the expense of simulation studies for this purpose.