Buffer size evaluation in a bottle plant production system: a comparison between different solving methods Online publication date: Mon, 22-Aug-2022
by Ilenia Zennaro; Serena Finco; Riccardo Aldrighetti; Daria Battini
International Journal of Services and Operations Management (IJSOM), Vol. 42, No. 4, 2022
Abstract: The buffer allocation problem (BAP) is a crucial research issue in designing manufacturing systems. Several methods have been proposed including simulation modelling, exact and heuristics approaches. Simulation is usually time-consuming and requires expensive software; analytical approaches necessitate specific knowledge that is uncommon in companies, especially among small-medium enterprises (SMEs). Thus, practitioners generally develop empirical methods based on their experience, to get buffers size with easy-to-use procedures. This paper proposes a comparison between three BAP approaches: an empirical method, a simulation method, and an experimental formula, all applied in a real case study. Simulation approach leads to a great optimal solution, but it requires to buy the software and time to build the model. The empirical method requires a shorter time but the buffer size results in severe additional costs. Finally, the experimental formula proves to be a good trade-off between the obtained buffer size and the efforts addressed its application.
Online publication date: Mon, 22-Aug-2022
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