Assessment of shop floor layouts in the context of process plans with alternatives

Abstract Paper aims The paper seeks to compare the performance of three layouts in a make to order (MTO) production system with high product variability. Originality No previous work sought to compare job shop, cellular and virtual cell layouts in an MTO system with high product variability, with just 21 resources, a low amount. The analysis considered models with the same capacities and demand for the three layouts. Research method The complete factorial design and ANOVA were used with simulation. The main effects plots of the control factors for response variables were obtained (e.g. throughput, lead time, and resource utilization). Main findings The virtual cell layout had results similar to the job shop, but achieved better outcomes compared with the traditional cell. Implications for theory and practice The knowledge gap regarding virtual cells signals the importance of this topic, as well as the possibilities not yet investigated about it in manufacturing companies.