The effectiveness of a layout design cannot be completely measured if the operational characteristics of the manufacturing system are ignored. There is, therefore, a need to develop integrated manufacturing system design models. In this paper, the integration of unit load and material handling considerations in facility layout design is presented. This integration is based on a stochastic model that captures the operational characteristics of the manufacturing system and a non-linear mixed-integer program that incorporates department formation and facility layout. The non-linear mixed-integer program is solved using a simulated annealing-based algorithm. Analytical results for different manufacturing system scenarios are presented and compared with results obtained using alternative QAP-type formulations. Based on our experimentation and on the characteristics of the different formulations, key observations are presented and discussed.
International Journal of Production Research, 40(13):2955-2989, 2002