GINDY, N., RATCHEV, T.M. and CASE, K., 1996. Component grouping for cell formation using resource elements. International Journal of Production Research, 34 (3), pp. 727 - 752.
The work reported in this paper recognises that the traditional close association between components and a fixed route utilising a set of machine tools can no longer be relied upon as an appropriate basis for deciding component similarity and partitioning components into families in modern manufacturing applications. A new methodology for describing the capabilities of machine tools and machining facilities using generic capability units termed 'resource elements' is reported. REs are used to capture the processing requirements of components, assessing their similarity and a fuzzy grouping procedure is used for simultaneously grouping components and machine tools for cellular manufacturing applications. The reported results show that the use of resource elements leads to component groups that are more compact with better matching between processing requirements of components and the capabilities of the machine tools selected for their processing compared with the conventional machine-based approach.