Computer‐based models for the automatic generation of facility layouts have been shown to provide significant benefits to the industrial community for the planning and development of facilities. In a manufacturing environment, layouts are often needed for the manufacture, storage and shipment of specific product types within specific time periods. This is especially true in metal fabrication plants, as the dynamic nature of product storage and manufacture dictates the need for effective layout generation to achieve cost reductions. The system described in this paper integrates raw material storage, inventory management, scheduling and rack system design with facility layout development for the most satisfactory dynamic response. The research addressed in this paper has resulted in the development of a computer‐based model that focuses on the concept of integrating the domains of plant layout, material handling and warehousing in terms of raising overall effectiveness.
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