In this paper a new approach is described to automatically create layouts for material flow systems. The current research in progress aiming at adopting the methods and algorithms of the Electronic Design Automation to be used in logistics planning is presented. These methods are already applied to create microchips being multiple times more complex than material flow systems while following the same goal: Functional units have to be placed on a predefined area and are linked by connections weighted differently. This basic requirement can be applied to microchip designs as well as material flow systems. The common condition is to create the setup with the smallest connection length possible. The results are compared to a currently applied computerized method to calculate facility layouts. The overall result of the introduced method is nearly equal to the traditional reference method to create a computerized material flow layout. However, while the new algorithm does all calculations automatically, the traditional method requires manual finishing to achieve a comparable result. This article thereby shows the potential of the research in progress toward the goal to support logistics planning with a new generation of automated software tools.
Progress in Material Handling Research: 2014
Sadowsky, Volker and Mosblech, Christian, "A New Approach for Generating Facility Layouts Using an Algorithmic Approach" (2014). 13th IMHRC Proceedings (Cincinnati, Ohio. USA – 2014). 20.