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The cellular manufacturing paradox: a critical review of simulation studies

Hédi Chtourou (Laboratoire des Systèmes Electro‐Mécaniques, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisie Département de technologie, Institut Préparatoire aux études d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisie)
Abdessalem Jerbi (Laboratoire des Systèmes Electro‐Mécaniques, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisie)
Aref Y. Maalej (Laboratoire des Systèmes Electro‐Mécaniques, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisie)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 6 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

A number of simulation studies have been conducted previously by several researchers, in order to compare the performance of cellular and functional layouts. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the lack of objectivity of a number of these studies, in order to explain the origin of their conflicting conclusions.

Design/methodology/approach

A taxonomy of the main experimental factors and performance measure used in the main simulation comparative studies is followed by a critical assessment of ten of these studies. The analysis is focused on the objectivity of the layout comparison methodologies. Then, the determined shortcomings are categorized and some of them are illustrated by way of simulation.

Findings

The revealed shortcomings are most likely responsible for the conflicting conclusions of the studies and may well explain what is called in the literature the “cellular paradox.”

Originality/value

This work sets up the basis for an objective comparison methodology between the two manufacturing system layouts. Such a methodology should in fact be free of all the highlighted objectivity flaws.

Keywords

Citation

Chtourou, H., Jerbi, A. and Maalej, A.Y. (2008), "The cellular manufacturing paradox: a critical review of simulation studies", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 591-606. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380810877276

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited