Mechanized material handling systems design and routing

A. Ravindran, B. L. Foote, Larry Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tinker AFB (TAFB) is the prime Air Force rework facility for jet engine parts that support standard engines. The wear and tear on the engine parts of the various aircraft currently produces about 10 million individual requirements annually for part inspection and subsequent discard or rework. Past practices have resulted in extremely long flow times for rework and a burgeoning requirement for conveyor capacity. A new concept, called the Modular Repair Center (MRC), is being implemented to correct the problem. The MRC's have most of the processes necessary to inspect and repair components of a given engine assembly. They have the advantage of reducing the number of long moves, giving more accountability for quality and better tracking. A large network model of TAFB facility has been developed to determine the required work-in-process storage, conveyor capacity, shortest routes for parts to flow from one MRC to another and the maximum flow along each conveyor section. The model was analyzed using Floyd's shortest route algorithm. It resulted in reducing the "bottlenecks" on certain conveyor sections by rerouting some of the flow along low density traffic links and thus reducing the need for extra conveyor capacity. Simple formulas were designed to estimate the number of pallets generated by disassembly and each MRC to provide the demand requirements for conveyor capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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