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Material flow cost versus congestion in dynamic distributed facility layout problem

Özen, Aykut
In this thesis, we study both dynamic and distributed facility layout problems, where the demand for product mix changes over time. We propose a new simulated annealing algorithm, SALAB, for the dynamic facility layout problem. Four variants of SALAB find the best known solution for 20 of the 48 benchmark problems from the literature, improving upon the best known solutions of 18 problems. We modify SALAB to obtain DSALAB, solving the dynamic distributed facility layout problem with the objective of minimizing relocation cost and total (full and empty) travel cost of the material handling system. We simulate DSALAB solutions of randomly generated problems to study the tradeoff between total cost and congestion in the system. Our experimental results indicate that distributing the department duplicates throughout the facility reduces the total cost with diminishing returns and causes increasing congestion. Therefore, distribution beyond a certain level is not justified.