Improving the layout of a warehouse at the Coast Guard Aircraft Repair and Supply Center
Martin, James F.
Kevin R. Gue.
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We present a heuristic algorithm to evaluate alternative item and storage device locations in the Coast Guard's Aircraft Repair and Supply Center (ARSC) warehouse. The goal is to minimize the labor cost of item pickers by locating items in a way that reduces travel. The heuristic assigns items with the highest usage to the storage locations nearest the input/output point and evaluates alternative plans for relocating a limited number of storage devices by pairwise-interchange. We judge the quality of our results by comparing them to ARSC's current item locations and storage device layout. We also develop an iterative linear programming (LP) based algorithm that provides a lower bound on cost for comparison with the heuristic's results. Although implementing the iterative LP solution requires capital outlays beyond current budgets of the ABS C, the solution provides insight into layout and labor cost tradeoffs for long term planning. Our results show that expected travel distances and labor costs can be reduced by 40.2% by reassigning items to locations within ARSC's current configuration of storage devices. By interchanging only 7 of 51 storage devices ARSC could gain an additional 5.6% improvement for a total 45.8% reduction. Our iterative linear programming solution establishes a lower bound of 53.7% reduction over ARSC's current layout.
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