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The influence of work‐cells and facility layout on the manufacturing efficiency

Seyed‐Mahmoud Aghazadeh (Department of Business Administration, School of Business, State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, New York, USA)
Saeedreza Hafeznezami (College of Engineering, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA)
Lotfollah Najjar (College of Information Science and Technology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
Ziaul Huq (College of Business Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 12 July 2011




The purpose of this paper is to analyse the use of a product‐oriented layout and a work‐cell strategy in order to maximise efficiency. These two categories of layout strategies are discussed separately, and are then used collectively in an analysis of the company. The aim is to understand how improvements on layout design could positively impact the future efficiency of the case study company.


A model was developed and measured using 26 weeks of data between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 during layout transformations at the case study company based in upstate New York. The model compared variables such as the distance traveled to retrieve parts, average daily output of engines, labour cost per unit produced, and the amount of time the engine remains in each cell; the aim of which is to increase the efficiency of the facility.


The findings indicate that there is a strong correlation between the variables improved at both the cell‐structures and the product‐structures of the facility and the overall efficiency of the manufacturing facility itself. The results also show that an overall higher efficiency allows for the facility to handle much larger workloads and also drives down both short‐run and long‐run costs. The outcomes also allow for a suggestive redesign of the facility in order to further maximise efficiency. However, it was found that the amount of time a product remains in each cell on the assembly line does not have an effect on the overall output of diesel engines.

Research limitations/implications

Various studies have been conducted focusing on the “facility layout problem,” yet thorough analyses of the redesigning of layout in regards to efficiency are not as available. Instead, an understanding of the topic was derived through sources focusing on the specificities of manufacturing layout.


This paper describes layout efficiency through redesigns and layout using work‐cells in a product‐oriented environment. This study would be useful to manufacturers having low variability in their product and having the ability to use work‐cell layout within their facility.



Aghazadeh, S., Hafeznezami, S., Najjar, L. and Huq, Z. (2011), "The influence of work‐cells and facility layout on the manufacturing efficiency", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 213-224.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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