A production rate control policy for stochastic repair and remanufacturing systems
We consider the control of a manufacturing system responding to planned demand at the end of the expected life of each individual piece of equipment and unplanned demand triggered by a major equipment failure. The difficulty of controlling this type of production system resides in the variable nature of the remanufacturing process. In practice, remanufacturing operations for planned demand can be executed at different rates, referring to different component replacement and repair strategies. We formulate this problem as a multi-level control problem and propose a suboptimal control policy. The proposed control policy is described by inventory thresholds triggering the use of different execution modes. Determination of the control policy parameters is based on parameter optimization of analytical cost expressions. A numerical example based on a real case is presented. Our analysis demonstrates that the use of the proposed control approach can lead to a significant reduction in the total average cost, as compared to current practices.
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