Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Publications

2 The Operating Behaviour of Unbalanced Unpaced Merging Assembly Lines

Authors: S. Shaaban, T. McNamara, S. Hudson

Abstract:

This paper reports on the performance of deliberately unbalanced, reliable, non-automated and assembly lines that merge, whose workstations differ in terms of their mean operation times. Simulations are carried out on 5- and 8-station lines with 1, 2 and 4 buffer capacity units, % degrees of line imbalance of 2, 5 and 12, and 24 different patterns of means imbalance. Data on two performance measures, namely throughput and average buffer level were gathered, statistically analysed and compared to a merging balanced line counterpart. It was found that the best configurations are a balanced line arrangement and a monotone decreasing order for each of the parallel merging lines, with the first generally resulting in a lower throughput and the second leading to a lower average buffer level than those of a balanced line.

Keywords: Average buffer level, merging lines, simulation, throughput, unbalanced.

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1 Unreliable Production Lines with Simultaneously Unbalanced Operation Time Means, Breakdown, and Repair Rates

Authors: S. Shaaban, T. McNamara, S. Hudson

Abstract:

This paper investigates the benefits of deliberately unbalancing both operation time means (MTs) and unreliability (failure and repair rates) for non-automated production lines. The lines were simulated with various line lengths, buffer capacities, degrees of imbalance and patterns of MT and unreliability imbalance. Data on two performance measures, namely throughput (TR) and average buffer level (ABL) were gathered, analyzed and compared to a balanced line counterpart. A number of conclusions were made with respect to the ranking of configurations, as well as to the relationships among the independent design parameters and the dependent variables. It was found that the best configurations are a balanced line arrangement and a monotone decreasing MT order, coupled with either a decreasing or a bowl unreliability configuration, with the first generally resulting in a reduced TR and the second leading to a lower ABL than those of a balanced line.

Keywords: Average buffer level, throughput, unbalanced failure and repair rates, unequal mean operation times, unreliable production lines.

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