Analysis of production lines with Coxian service times and no intermediate buffers

H. T. Papadopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper uses the holding time model (HTM) method to derive an approximate analytic formula for the calculation of the mean throughput of a K-station production line with no buffers between any two successive stations. Service times follow the two-stage Coxian (C2) distribution at all stations. The paper provides a formula that relates the third moment of the service completion (or virtual service) time with the respective parameters of the service time, the repair time and the time to breakdown (the latter is assumed to follow the exponential distribution). In this way, it concludes that under certain conditions the two-stage Coxian distribution can be used to approximate any general distribution matching the first three moments of the service completion time distribution. The mean holding times (consisting of the service and blocking periods) of all stations of the line are obtained in an analytical form. Numerical results are provided for the mean throughput of lines with up to 20 stations. These results are shown to have a good accuracy compared against results obtained from the Markovian state method (for short lines) and results from simulation (for longer lines).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-685
Number of pages17
JournalNaval Research Logistics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998


  • Blocking
  • GERT networks
  • Mean sojourn time
  • Mean throughput
  • Production lines
  • Stochastic modeling
  • Two-stage Coxian distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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