Worker assignment in cellular manufacturing considering technical and human skills

Bryan A. Norman, Wipawee Tharmmaphornphilas, Kim Lascola Needy, Bopaya Bidanda, Rona Colosimo Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


This paper considers the problem of assigning workers to manufacturing cells in order to maximize the effectiveness of the organization. Organization effectiveness is assumed to be a function of the productivity, output quality, and training costs associated with a particular worker assignment. Traditionally, these worker assignments have been based only on the technical skills of the workers. The proposed model also includes human skills and permits the ability to change the skill levels of workers by providing them with additional training. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer programming problem. A total of 32 test problems were developed and varied with regard to the total training time, the available training time for each worker, the training costs, the productivity coefficients and the quality level coefficients. Results indicate that this model provides better worker assignments than one that only considers technical skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1479-1492
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002


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