Multimachine flexible manufacturing cell analysis using a Markov chain-based approach

Mohammad M. Hamasha, Azmi Alazzam, Sad Hamasha, Faisal Aqlan, Osama Almeanazel, Mohammad T. Khasawneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this paper, a stochastic model is developed to analyze the performance of a flexible manufacturing cell (FMC). The FMC considered in this paper consists of a single conveyor, a single robot, and one or more machine(s). The conveyor belt delivers the working part to the robot, which loads it onto the machine. A Markov chain model is constructed for one-machine and two-machine FMCs, after which the model is generalized to an FMC with n machines. Most importantly, the model provides an estimate of the overall machine utilization and production rate for the FMC under consideration and also illustrates the effect of different operational factors on machine utilization and production rate. The results indicated that the overall machine utilization increases with conveyor belt and robot delivery rates and decreases with machine rate, as expected. However, this decrease or the increase in the overall machine utilization is sharp at low levels of each parameter (e.g., conveyor belt delivery and robot loading), but it gradually stabilizes at higher levels of the parameters. Finally, the production rate increases sharply at low levels of each parameter and gradually stabilizes at higher levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7041214
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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