Models of synchronous production lines with no intermediate buffers

Çetinay, Hande
Production lines with unreliable machines have received a great amount of attention in the literature. Especially, two-station systems have mostly been studied because such systems are easier to handle when compared to the longer lines. In literature, longer lines are usually evaluated by a decomposition algorithm, whereby the long line is partitioned into chunks of two-station lines. Decomposition algorithms require intermediate buffer storages of capacity at least two or three. The trends in modern manufacturing practices, on the other hand, such as the Toyota Production System, dictate that intermediate storages be eliminated. Our work studies multi-station lines with no intermediate storage. We develop software to automate the generation of transition probability matrices to allow the analysis of system behavior. The algorithm allows the use of software packages to handle computations and to solve for exact solutions. Long-run behavior is obtained via the algorithm developed in the computational environment MATLAB. The purpose is to analyze the system performance measures such as starvation and blockage times of stations, production rate and work-in-process. In addition, the production rate and the work-in-process measures over failure and repair probabilities are curve-fit to establish simple and useful empirical formulas for lines consisting three, four and five identical stations. Numerical analyses show that the proposed algorithm is effective for exact solutions and the suggested formulas are valid for approximate solutions.


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Citation Formats
H. Çetinay, “Models of synchronous production lines with no intermediate buffers,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.