Minimizing WIP inventory in reliable production lines

H. T. Papadopoulos, M. I. Vidalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This work deals with the well-known buffer allocation problem in short reliable production lines. The objective is to find the optimal buffer allocation (OBA) that minimizes the average work-in-process (WIP) inventory, subject to a minimum required throughput. The study leads to some insights concerning the evolution of the throughput and WIP as a function of the ordered buffer allocations. In the case of balanced lines, it is observed that the so-called self-similarity phenomenon prevails. It is also pointed out that the choice of the throughput level is critical for finding the OBA that minimizes the average WIP. Also a heuristic algorithm is proposed to find the OBA, which reduces the search space by over 50% compared to enumeration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 21 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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