Title: The impact of failure, repair and joint imbalance of processing time means and buffer sizes on the performance of unpaced production lines
Authors: Sabry Shaaban; Tom McNamara; Sarah Hudson
Department of Economics, Strategy and Organization, Groupe ESC La Rochelle – Cerege, 102 Rue de Coureilles, 17024 La Rochelle, France
Department of Finance and Operations, ESC Rennes School of Business, 2 Rue Robert d’Arbrissel, 35065 Rennes, France
Department of Finance and Operations, ESC Rennes School of Business, 2 Rue Robert d'Arbrissel, 35065 Rennes, France
Abstract: This article studies the performance of unpaced serial production lines that are subject to breakdown and are imbalanced in terms of both of their processing time means (MTs) and buffer storage capacities (BCs). Simulation results show that the best pattern in terms of throughput (TR) is a balanced line. With respect to average buffer level (ABL), the best configuration is a monotone decreasing MT order, together with an ascending BC arrangement. Statistical analysis shows that BC, combined patterns of MT and BC imbalance, line length and degree of imbalance all contribute significantly to performance.
Keywords: unreliable production lines; unpaced serial lines; simulation; unequal mean operation times; uneven buffer capacities; imbalance patterns; throughput; average buffer level; ABL; failure; repair; imbalance; line length; processing time; buffer sizes.
Int. J. of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2015 Vol.29, No.5/6, pp.347 - 365
Date of acceptance: 14 May 2015
Available online: 17 Aug 2015