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Setting Inventory Levels of CONWIP Flow Lines via Linear Programming

  • Stefan Helber


    (University of Hannover)

  • Katja Schimmelpfeng


    (Brandenburg University of Technology)

  • Raik Stolletz


    (University of Mannheim)

This paper treats the problem of setting the inventory level and optimizing the buffer allocation of closed-loop flow lines operating under the constant-work-in-process (CONWIP) protocol. We solve a very large but simple linear program that models an entire simulation run of a closed-loop flow line in discrete time to determine a production rate estimate of the system. This approach introduced in Helber, Schimmelpfeng, Stolletz, and Lagershausen (2011) for open flow lines with limited buffer capacities is extended to closed-loop CONWIP flow lines. Via this method, both the CONWIP level and the buffer allocation can be optimized simultaneously. The first part of a numerical study deals with the accuracy of the method. In the second part, we focus on the relationship between the CONWIP inventory level and the short-term profit. The accuracy of the method turns out to be best for such configurations that maximize production rate and/or short-term profit.

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Article provided by German Academic Association for Business Research in its journal BuR - Business Research.

Volume (Year): 4 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 98-115

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Handle: RePEc:vhb:journl:v:4:y:2011:i:1:p:98-115
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  1. Helber, Stefan & Schimmelpfeng, Katja & Stolletz, Raik & Lagershausen, Svenja, 2008. "Using linear programming to analyze and optimize stochastic flow lines," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-389, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
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