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In the past two decades many manufacturing companies applied Cellular Manufacturing Systems (CMS) to improve their production. Cellular manufacturing (CM) is recognized as an application of Group Technology (GT). This paper deals with CM scheduling problem which is considered as a major challenge in implementation of the CMS. Through previous studies many researchers have attempted to develop effective models and algorithms to solve this problem. Most of these researches consider algorithms which schedule part families and the part of each family separately in two steps. In this paper an integrated approach is considered which schedules all parts from all part families in one step and it is demonstrated how this reduces the idle time of machines and consequently decreases the makespan. To solve this scheduling problem an Electromagnetism-like (EM-like) algorithm is employed. In addition, as EM-like algorithm was originally designed for problems with real value data, modification of the algorithm was necessary to use it with integer data. The results of the proposed algorithm show a major improvement when compared with the results of one of the so far best algorithms presented by other researchers.
Date of Conference: 6-9 July 2009