Exact solution procedures for the balanced unidirectional cyclic layout problem


EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH, vol.189, no.3, pp.609-623, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this paper, we consider the balanced unidirectional cyclic layout problem (BUCLP) arising in the determination of workstation locations around a closed loop conveyor system, in the allocation of cutting tools on the sites around a turret, in the positioning of stations around a unidirectional single loop AGV path. BUCLP is known to be NP-Complete. One important property of this problem is the balanced material flow assumption where the material flow is conserved at every workstation. We first develop a branch-and-bound procedure by using the special material flow property of the problem. Then, we propose a dynamic programming algorithm, which provides optimum solutions for instances with up to 20 workstations due to memory limitations. The branch and bound procedure can solve problems with up to 50 workstations. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.