Selection of material handling systems (MHS) is an important decision to be taken during the design of flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) as it affects the layout of FMS. Many researchers have addressed this issue of MHS selection in the domain of operations management, while a few of them have addressed this issue in the domain of FMS. However, none of them have modelled this problem by incorporating the relationship/dependencies that exist between various factors/attributes/criteria/elements (in short, it will be called “factors” for the sake of simplicity). The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the development of the analytic network process (ANP) for the selection of MHS in the design of FMS for a hypothetical case organisation.
As mentioned above, selection of MHS in design of FMS is a complex decision‐making problem, as it is dependent on many factors. Hence, one of the recently developed multi‐attribute decision‐making (MADM) models – namely the ANP — is utilised as it has the capability to incorporate the relationship that exists between and within different factors. To demonstrate the application of ANP, a hypothetical case situation is presented.
The results obtained from ANP revealed that conveyor is a better alternative for the FMS under the given case situation. Furthermore, this study also revealed the computational complexity of the ANP, albeit it is successful implementation of dependency/relationships between the factors within the decision‐making process.
It is believed that this paper will enable the practitioners to appreciate the role of ANP in the strategic decision‐making process, apart from helping them understand how decisions can be made in a structured manner. However, it should be understood that although ANP can provide adequate support to the decisions being made, it requires the experience and judgements of the decision makers to arrive at a particular decision. Originality/value – According to the authors' knowledge, no paper exists in the literature that demonstrates the application of ANP, specifically for selecting a MHS during the design of FMS by considering 35 or more factors. Furthermore, the paper attempts to model this problem by incorporating the relationship/dependency that exist between these factors, which is unique when compared to those papers that have already dealt with this problem.
Anand, G., Kodali, R. and Santosh Kumar, B. (2011), "Development of analytic network process for the selection of material handling systems in the design of flexible manufacturing systems (FMS)", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 123-147. https://doi.org/10.1108/09727981111129336Download as .RIS
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