Analysis of a two-stage, flexible production system with unreliable machines, finite buffers and non-negligible setups

Senanayake, Chanaka; Subramaniam, Velusamy
September 2013
Flexible Services & Manufacturing Journal;Sep2013, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p414
Academic Journal
We analyze a Markov model of a two-stage production system capable of producing two part types. Each stage consists of an unreliable machine and the different stages are decoupled by two intermediate buffers of finite capacity, one for each part type. Unlike previous work, we specifically consider non-negligible machine setup times during changeovers and also assume that machine failure probabilities are dependent on the part type being produced. We assume that machine processing times, repair/failure times and setup times are exponentially distributed and may have different mean rates for each machine and for each part-type. We describe a solution method to evaluate the system performance that reduces the total number of equations to be solved from a multiplicative function to an additive function of buffer sizes. This model may then be integrated with a new decomposition method for analyzing longer lines. The results show the relative influence of different factors on system performance and thus provide guidance to the optimal choice of system parameters such as buffer sizes.


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