Forming effective worker teams for cellular manufacturing

Ronald Askin, Yuanshu Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Cellular manufacturing has been extensively adopted as a measure to reduce cycle time, increase productivity, and improve product quality. The past research in cellular manufacturing has focused on the methodology for identification of machine groups, part families, and determination of processing routes. The relocation of existing workers into cells and their training for a team-oriented, cellular manufacturing environment have largely been ignored. In this research, a mixed integer, goal programming model is formulated for guiding the worker assignment and training process to create worker teams with high team synergy and individual job fitness meeting cell requirements for technical and administrative skills. The model integrates psychological, organizational, and technical factors. Several solution methods including greedy heuristic, filtered beam search, and simulated annealing techniques are developed and tested. It appears that heuristics such as beam search are capable of obtaining good solutions with reasonable computational effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2431-2451
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 20 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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