Authors: C.M. Liu, L. Sanderst
Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Abstract: This paper presents a method for the approximate design optimisation of closed asynchronous assembly systems which are widely used in manufacturing. The design parameters under consideration are the number of workpieces (pallets) to be loaded on the system and the number of buffer units that are to be installed between each adjacent pair of stations. This problem is especially difficult due to the stochastic nature of the system and the discrete decision variables. The optimisation problem can be solved by Monte Carlo optimisation by running an optimising program together with a discrete event simulation of the physical system. Unfortunately this approach often requires several hours of computer time for each set of parameters to be evaluated. This makes it infeasible for engineering design because the designer usually needs to try many alternative configurations. The method presented in this paper allows the engineer to obtain results of the Monte Carlo optimisation (approximately) with only a few numerical calculations. If a final configuration is selected then simulation can be used to verify or |fine tune| the approximate results.
Keywords: asynchronous assembly systems; design optimisation; manufacturing; Monte Carlo optimisation; mathematical modelling; heuristics; engineering design.
International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 1989 Vol.2 No.1, pp.30 - 37
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