Throughput, flow times, and service level in an unreliable assembly system
ABSTRACT This paper considers an unreliable assembly network where different types of components are processed by two separate work centers before being merged at an assembly station. The operation complexity of the system is a result of finite inter-station buffers, uncertain service times, and random breakdowns that lead to blocking at the work centers and starvation at the assembly station. The objective of this study is to gain an understanding of the behavior of such systems so that we can find a way to maximize the system throughput while maintaining the required customer service level. By constructing appropriate Markov processes, we obtain the probability distribution of the production flow time and derive formulas for throughput, the loss probability of type-2 workpieces, and the mean flow time. We present expressions for average work-in-process (WIP) and study their monotone properties. Using the distribution of the flow time, a customer service level can be defined and computed. We then formulate a system optimization model that can be used to maximize the throughput while maintaining an acceptable service level.
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ABSTRACT: The three-station serial line is a fundamental building block of many complex production systems. In this paper we develop methods for predicting the throughput of unbalanced three-station serial lines. We model the variability of processing times using a variety of probability distributions that spans the range of variabilities encountered in practice. We develop procedures for approximating throughput, for any allocation of total mean processing time, based on the throughput of a small number of easily analyzed cases.IIE Transactions 07/1994; 26(4):62-71. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper we study a queueing model of assembly-like manufacturing operations. This study was motivated by an examination of a circuit pack testing procedure in an AT & T factory. However, the model may be representative of many manufacturing assembly operations. We assume that customers fromn classes arrive according to independent Poisson processes with the same arrival rate into a single-server queueing station where the service times are exponentially distributed. The service discipline requires that service be rendered simultaneously to a group of customers consisting of exactly one member from each class. The server is idle if there are not enough customers to form a group. There is a separate waiting area for customers belonging to the same class and the size of the waiting area is the same for all classes. Customers who arrive to find the waiting area for their class full, are lost. Performance measures of interest include blocking probability, throughput, mean queue length and mean sojourn time. Since the state space for this queueing system could be large, exact answers for even reasonable values of the parameters may not be easy to obtain. We have therefore focused on two approaches. First, we find upper and lower bounds for the mean sojourn time. From these bounds we obtain the asymptotic solutions as the arrival rate (waiting room, service rate) approaches zero (infinity). Second, for moderate values of these parameters we suggest an approximate solution method. We compare the results of our approximation against simulation results and report good correspondence.Queueing Systems 01/1986; 1(1):67-83. · 0.44 Impact Factor
- Journal of Manufacturing Systems - J MANUF SYST. 01/1992; 11(6):385-400.