To survive and thrive in a fast-moving environment, facilities must be designed to show adaptability, flexibility and robustness. As some facilities are depicted by heavy and sophisticated equipment costly and hard to displace, others are composed of moveable workstations with highly flexible workers. In most cases, the trade-off is between the cost of redeploying the resources and the excessive cost of material handling and storage incurred by an inefficient deployment of the resources. We propose a design strategy based on (1) conceiving and designing the facility as a stable grid of modules, (2) dynamically deploying production, storage and handling resources to these modules, and (3) dynamically assigning process-product combinations to the modules so as to meet stochastic and dynamically evolving product demand on a rolling planning horizon. We illustrate the strategy as applied to a computer refurbishing and recycling facility.
Progress in Material Handling Research: 2014
Marcotte, Suzanne and Montreuil, Benoit, "Grid Facilities Design: Dynamic Modular Deployment of Production, Handling and Storage Resources" (2014). 13th IMHRC Proceedings (Cincinnati, Ohio. USA – 2014). 6.