The distance-based facility layout problem with unequal-area departments has been studied by many researchers for over 30 years. Still, current approaches require certain assumptions that limit the type of solutions obtained. In this paper, we consider manufacturing systems in which replicates of the same machine type may exist in the facility and propose an extended distance-based facility layout problem that concurrently determines the number and shape of the departments, the assignment of machines to departments, and the allocation of part flow volume to individual machines. A non-linear mixed-integer program that accurately captures the extended facility layout and part flow allocation problem, a decomposition approach that exploits the structure of the formulation using a heuristic solution procedure, as well as computational results that evaluate the proposed approach are presented.
To appear in International Journal of Production Research