Postal service -- United States, United States Postal Service


The layout of the U.S. Postal Service General Mail Facility (GMF) workroom operation is an essential factor to the overall productivity of the mail processing activities. An efficient workroom layout will minimize the cost of transporting containerized mail between the various distribution operations. Any changes in distribution methods, increases or decreases in mail volumes, or the addition of mechanization must be analyzed by the GMF industrial engineer to determine what effect these changes have on the existing workroom layout. He must also be able to evaluate layout changes recommended by management and floor supervisors. The present methods available to the engineer consist primarily of manual analytical techniques and intuitive flow layout analyses. These methods do not: 1. Quickly provide a rating for the layout that can be compared to other alternate layouts 2. Provide a means to produce an optimal layout 3. Provide analysis of layout change requests 4. Include the cost of relocating departments. The objectives of this paper are to evaluate several computerized plant layout techniques along with two existing methods available to the industrial engineer on the basis of a typical GMF workroom layout, and then to make a recommendation on the feasibility of implementing those computerized techniques that appear to have the capability of further assisting the industrial engineer in his GMF facilities layout assignment. There are two categories of problems which the computer-aided layout techniques typically address: improvement changes and new construction. The improvement routines are designed to evaluate existing layouts and generate new solutions by interchanging operations within a fixed boundary until a final improved layout is created. The CRAFT and CRAFT-M programs are two popular improvement routines that will be discussed and evaluated. Construction routines, which develop new layouts "from scratch", first will determine the order in which the process operations will enter the layout and then the physical position where each operation should be placed to generate the best layout. CORELAP, Interactive CORELAP, ALDEP, and PLANET programs will be discussed and evaluated; however, more emphasis will be placed on CRAFT and CORELAP since the other routines are improvements of these two basic systems.


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Graduation Date

Fall 1980


Doering, Robert D.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering

Degree Program





72 p.




Public Domain

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)



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Searchable text

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Engineering Commons