n South African Journal of Industrial Engineering - A bacteria foraging algorithm for solving integrated multi-period cell formation and subcontracting production planning in a dynamic cellular manufacturing system

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-277X



The bacteria foraging algorithm (BFA) is a new computation technique inspired by the social foraging behaviour of bacteria. Since the introduction of the BFA by Kevin M. Passino, there have been many challenges in employing this algorithm to problems other than those for which the algorithm was proposed. This research aims to apply this emerging optimisation algorithm to develop a mixed-integer programming model for designing cellular manufacturing systems (CMSs), and production planning in dynamic environments. In dynamic environments, product mix and part demand vary under multi-period planning horizons. Thus the best-designed cells for one period may not be adequate for subsequent periods, requiring their reconstruction. The advantages of the proposed model are as follows: consideration of batch inter-cell and intra-cell material handling by assuming the sequence of operations, allowing for alternative process plans for part types, and consideration of machine copying, with an emphasis on the effect of trade-offs between production and outsourcing costs. The goal is to minimise the sum of the machines' constant and variable costs, inter-cell and intra-cell material handling costs, reconstruction costs, partial subcontracting costs, and inventory carrying costs. In addition, a newly-developed BFA-based optimisation algorithm has been compared with the branch and bound algorithm. The results suggest that the proposed algorithm performs better than related works.

Die 'bacteria foraging algorithm' (BFA) is 'n berekeningstegniek gebaseeer op die sosiale soekgedrag van bakterieë. Sedert die bekendstelling van BFA was daar talle uitdagings oor toepassings van die algoritme op ander probleme as dié waarvoor dit ontwikkel is. Dié navorsing poog om deur toepassing van die algoritme 'n gemengde heelgetalprogrammeringmodel te ontwikkel vir die ontwerp van sellulêre vervaardiging-stelsels sowel as die produksiebeplanning in dinamiese omgewings. Die doel is om die som van die masjienkoste, inter- en intraselmateriaalhanteringkoste, rekonstruksiekoste, gedeeltelike subkontrakteringkoste sowel as voorraaddrakoste te minimiseer. 'n Nuut ontwikkelde BFA-optimiseringalgoritme is ook met die vertakkings-en-begrensingsalgoritme vergelyk. Die resultate toon dat die voorgestelde algoritme gunstig presteer in vergelyking met soortgelyke algoritmes.

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