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Journal Articles Computers & Industrial Engineering Year : 2017

Asymmetrical buffer allocation in unpaced merging assembly lines

Abstract

Asymmetrical merging assembly lines are a research area which is rising in prominence due to increasing use in reverse logistics, remanufacturing, and developing economies. This paper studies the performance of reliable, unpaced merging assembly lines with asymmetric buffer storage sizes. Lines are simulated with varying line lengths, mean buffer storage capacities and uneven buffer allocation configurations. Contrary to typical manufacturing expectations, results indicate that production line imbalances do not always result in detrimental performance. Higher throughput and lower average buffer levels, as compared to a balanced merging line, are found where total available buffer capacity is allocated as evenly as possible, and with a higher buffer capacity concentration towards the end of the line. This paper contributes to total production line knowledge by providing performance improvement methods for unpaced merging assembly lines with asymmetrical buffer allocation, and inexpensive or no cost managerial options to increase productivity and resource utilization, and decrease waste, in asymmetrical merging assembly lines.
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Dates and versions

hal-02005393 , version 1 (04-02-2019)

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Sabry Shaaban, Tom Mcnamara, Viatcheslav Dmitriev. Asymmetrical buffer allocation in unpaced merging assembly lines. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 2017, 109, pp.211-220. ⟨10.1016/j.cie.2017.05.008⟩. ⟨hal-02005393⟩
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