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Performance Evaluation of an Automatic Transfer Line with WIP Scrapping During Long Failures


  • George Liberopoulos

    () (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Thessaly, 38334 Volos, Greece)

  • George Kozanidis

    () (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Thessaly, 38334 Volos, Greece)

  • Panagiotis Tsarouhas

    () (Department of Electronics, Technological Education Institute of Lamia, 35100 Lamia, Greece)


We develop a model of a failure-prone, bufferless, paced, automatic transfer line in which material flows through a number of workstations in series, receiving continuous processing along each workstation. When a workstation fails, it stops operating, and so do all the other workstations upstream of it. The quality of the material trapped in the stopped workstations deteriorates with time. If this material remains immobilized beyond a certain critical time, its quality becomes unacceptable and it must be scrapped. We develop analytical expressions for important system performance measures for two cases. In the first case, the in-process material has no memory of the quality deterioration that it experienced during previous stoppages, whereas in the second case it has. In both cases, we assume that the workstation uptimes and downtimes follow memoryless distributions. We use the analytical expressions to numerically study the effect of system parameters on system performance. To evaluate the memoryless assumption, we compare the performance of the original model to that of a modified model in which the workstation downtimes do not follow memoryless distributions. The performance of the modified model is obtained via simulation.

Suggested Citation

  • George Liberopoulos & George Kozanidis & Panagiotis Tsarouhas, 2007. "Performance Evaluation of an Automatic Transfer Line with WIP Scrapping During Long Failures," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 9(1), pages 62-83, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:9:y:2007:i:1:p:62-83

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Papadopoulos, H. T. & Heavey, C., 1996. "Queueing theory in manufacturing systems analysis and design: A classification of models for production and transfer lines," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-27, July.
    2. Sorensen, Kenneth & Janssens, Gerrit K., 2001. "Buffer allocation and required availability in a transfer line with unreliable machines," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-3), pages 163-173, December.
    3. Stefan Helber, 2000. "Approximate analysis of unreliable transfer lines with splits in the flow of material," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 217-243, January.
    4. J. G. Shanthikumar & C. C. Tien, 1983. "An Algorithmic Solution to Two-Stage Transfer Lines with Possible Scrapping of Units," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(9), pages 1069-1086, September.
    5. Sophia Daskalaki & J. MacGregor Smith, 2004. "Combining Routing and Buffer Allocation Problems in Series-Parallel Queueing Networks," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 47-68, January.
    6. Ernest Koenigsberg, 1959. "Production Lines and Internal Storage--A Review," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(4), pages 410-433, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shi, Chuan & Gershwin, Stanley B., 2016. "Part sojourn time distribution in a two-machine line," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(1), pages 146-158.


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