Material handling equipment selection is vital in the design of an effective and efficient flexible manufacturing system (Kulak*, 2005). There are many factors to consider when designing MHS system. A properly designated MHS would be able to decrease manufacturing lead times, increase efficiency of material flow, and improve facility utilization and increase productivity (Kulak*, 2005). According to (Sule, 1994 ) material handling cost accounts for 30-70% of total operating cost, hence it is crucial to determine the best option for MHS. However, different MHS component would have their specific advantages and disadvantages, and there is no absolute formula in determining the type of MHS to be used, and the vast amount of variables to be consider leads to complexity while designing the MHS system.
The sole objective of this review paper is to explore various methods used during the designing of MHS system to be used in manufacturing plant, and also relating human factors role and influence in implementing successful MHS system. These methods apply various mathematical modelling and decision trees to simplify multi variables of MHS components. Various methods would be then laid out and the strengths and weakness of each of these methods would be visited.
Types of MHS
Material handling system is an automated system that assists and transfer material in the manufacturing line. It functions as a continuous, intelligent system that load raw materials to CNC machines, interconnecting the in process product to other machines for additional processes, transfer it to inspection machine for quality surveillance and finally unloading it into automated Storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) . Material handling equipment commonly categorised as industrial trucks, conveyors, Automated guided vehicles, cranes, storage/retrieval system, and robotic arms.
Journal 1: A decision support system for fuzzy multi-attribute selection of material handling equipments
Author: Osman Kulak
In this paper, the decision support system (FUMAHES) is thoroughly dissected and discussed. (FUMAHES) is a method used for selection of material handling equipment based on the requirements and rules set by the designer. FUMAHES is a type of expert systems in which the program consists of a set of modular chunks, known as rules, frame, objects or scripts. The information is stored in repository known as knowledge base. FUMAHES is developed to solve the MHS integration prior to implementation. It is used to simplify the selection process, to choose the most appropriate MHS based on the rules set by designer. The rules and sets are basically derived from the immediate specification of the production type, usually the width of the belt conveyor, the weight of the product, and many other important rules. FUMAHES system is created using Arity Prolog. FUMAHES structure consists of detailed MHS information module (IM), axiomatic design and principles. In the database, the material handling system information is subdivided into groups of industrial trucks, conveyors, automated guided vehicles, cranes, industrial robots and storage retrieval systems. FUMAHES has a database of up to 40 move equipment types and six storage equipment types along with their performance criteria. The category and types of MHS are shown in table 1.
FUMAHES is created to overcome the problem faced when only axiom approach is used. In axiom approach, the system will not generate proper result if any of its required rules or variable is unknown. FUMAHES integrate both crisp and fuzzy criteria allowing it to be advantageous compare to other multi attribute approach. The integration of both fuzzy and crisp criteria allows the software to continue to analyse and determine the most proper MHS to be used even if the rules given are incomplete. In this program, user inputs are required for...