Next generation factory layouts: Research challenges and recent progress

Saif Benjaafar, Sunderesh S. Heragu, Shahrukh A. Irani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Recent trends in industry suggest that existing layout configurations do not meet the needs of multiproduct enterprises and that there is a need for a new generation of factory layouts that are flexible, modular, and easy to reconfigure. Although most of the academic literature on layout design is based on a deterministic paradigm that assumes production requirements are known far in advance or change very little over time, a growing body of research focuses on designing layouts for dynamic and uncertain environments. An example is the research being carried out by the newly formed Consortium on Next Generation Factory Layouts (NGFL). The consortium, which involves multiple universities and several companies, is developing alternative layouts, new performance metrics, and new methods for designing flexible and reconfigurable factories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-76
Number of pages19
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Facilities-equipment planning: layout
  • Manufacturing: performance-productivity, strategy


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