Tool addition strategies for flexible manufacturing systems

Manbir S. Sodhi, Alessandro Agnetis, Ronald Askin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The allocation of tools to machines determines potential part routes in flexible manufacturing systems. Given production requirements and a minimum feasible set of tools, the decision of how to fill vacant slots in tool magazines to maximize routing flexibility is shown to be a minimum cost network flow problem for the cases when routing flexibility is a function of the average workload per tool aggregated over tool types, or of the number of possible routes through the system. A linear programming model is then used to plan a set of routes for each part type so as to minimize either the material handling requirement or the maximum workload on any machine. The impact of these tool addition strategies on the material handling and workload equalization is investigated and computational results presented. The advantage of the overall approach is computational simplicity at each step and the ability to react to dynamic changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-310
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994


  • flexible manufacturing systems
  • min cost network flow models
  • routing flexibility
  • tool addition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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