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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 9510201, 13 pages
Research Article

Optimizing Safety Stock Levels in Modular Production Systems Using Component Commonality and Group Technology Philosophy: A Study Based on Simulation

1Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Puebla, Via Atlixcayotl No. 2301, Reserva Territorial Atlixcayotl, 72453 Puebla, PUE, Mexico
2Universidad Panamericana Campus Guadalajara, Calzada Circunvalación Poniente No. 49, Ciudad Granja, 45010 Zapopan, JAL, Mexico
3UPAEP University, 21 Sur 1103 Colonia Santiago, 72410 Puebla, PUE, Mexico

Received 4 May 2016; Revised 15 July 2016; Accepted 19 July 2016

Academic Editor: Mónica A. López-Campos

Copyright © 2016 Kenneth Edgar Hernandez-Ruiz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Modular production and component commonality are two widely used strategies in the manufacturing industry to meet customers growing needs for customized products. Using these strategies, companies can enhance their performance to achieve optimal safety stock levels. Despite the importance of safety stocks in business competition, little attention has been paid to the way to reduce them without affecting the customer service levels. This paper develops a mathematical model to reduce safety stock levels in organizations that employ modular production. To construct the model, we take advantage of the benefits of aggregate inventories, standardization of components, component commonality, and Group Technology philosophy in regard to stock levels. The model is tested through the simulation of three years of operation of two modular product systems. For each system, we calculated and compared the safety stock levels for two cases: () under the only presence of component commonality and () under the presence of both component commonality and Group Technology philosophy. The results show a reduction in safety stock levels when we linked the component commonality with the Group Technology philosophy. The paper presents a discussion of the implications of each case, features of the model, and suggestions for future research.