Authors: Sameh M Saad, Carlos R. Gómez, Nabil Gindy
Cellular manufacturing has been proposed as an approach to cope with the uncertainty characteristic of customer driven markets. However, even cellular manufacturing systems are prone to the effects of varying demand patterns. In this study, the effects of some aspects related to demand variation such as the arrival of material, the variety of products and the variation in product mix are investigated to identify those system characteristics that -within the context of cellular manufacturing systems- represent an advantage in the presence of such disturbances. To do so, discrete event simulation is used to conduct the experimentation by modelling a cellular manufacturing system. Additionally, statistical design of experiment is employed to identify the factors contributing to higher system performance. The results show that, in spite of the demand related disturbance, machines with low set- up duration and highly skilled operators constitute the most important characteristics of an efficient manufacturing cell.