An evolutionary approach to incorporating intradepartmental flow into facilities design

B. A. Norman, A. E. Smith, E. Yildirim, W. Tharmmaphornphilas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Minimizing material transportation is an important design object for many facilities. In traditional facility design, departments and work centers have been located based on interdepartmental flow patterns. We introduce a methodology that extends the planning process to also consider intradepartmental flow patterns. A math programming approach is developed that uses an objective function and constraints that specifically addresses both the intradepartmental and the interdepartmental material flows together. The math programming approach can be used to solve small problems but it is difficult to scale this method to problems with realistic sizes. Therefore, we devise an evolutionary optimization methodology for this same problem. The evolutionary method can readily solve both large and small problems. The effectiveness of the evolutionary approach is demonstrated on a suite of test problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Engineering Software
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2001


  • Facility design
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Material flow
  • Optimization


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