In this work, we investigate the optimal buffer allocation in short μ-balanced production lines consisting of machines that are subject to breakdown. Repair times and times to failure are assumed exponential, whereas service times are allowed to follow the Erlang-k distribution (with k = 1, 2, 4 and 8). By an improved enumeration procedure and applying the evaluative algorithm of Heavey et al. for the calculation of throughput, we have examined in a systematic way several systems with 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 stations and with a different total number of buffer slots. We have been able to give answers to some critical questions. These include the effect of the distribution of the service and repair times, the availability of the stations and the repair rates on the optimal buffer allocation and the throughput of the lines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)