Contemporary Group Technology (GT) methods apply coding schemes as a popular method for capturing the design and manufacturing information pertinent to the parts to be grouped. Coding schemes are very popular and many different coding systems are commercially available. The main disadvantage of current coding systems, however, is their generality and lack of informative representation of the parts.
This paper presents a new methodology for coding parts using fuzzy codes. The methodology is general and applies to attributes that have a crisp value (e.g. “length”, “ratio of length to diameter”), an interval value (e.g. “tolerance”, “surface roughness”) or a fuzzy value (e g. “primary shape”).
The methodology considers the range of attributes relevant for the grouping, and therefore is tuned and adjusted to the specific collection of parts of interest This method creates a more informative coding scheme which leads to improved variant process planning methods, scheduling and inventory control as well as other manufacturing functions that utilize GT.