I did my Master's thesis in Group Technology at Clemson University and my PhD thesis on the Fractal Layout at Purdue University. Something that bothered me for the last 25+ years is whether the two are related. The literature says that these are totally two different concepts.
In my recent paper with Salah Elaskari, we present the central backup cellular manufacturing systems (CBCMS). The CBCMS is inspired by the concept of the remainder cell in group technology (GT) systems in which products that are not easily partitioned in the parts-machine incidence matrix are allocated to the remainder cell. It is also inspired by the fractal cell organization in which machine types are dispersed roughly equally through the fractal cells. Our paper shows how the CBCMS is a unification framework to explore the design continuum between the GT and fractal cell configurations.
This paper has therefore been very satisfying to me!