Performance Analysis of Flow Lines with Non-Linear Flow of Material by Stefan Helber
Flow line design is one of the major tasks in production management. The decision to install a set of machines and buffers is often highly irreversible. It determines both cost and revenue to a large extent. In order to assess the economic impact of any possible flow line design, production rates and inventory levels have to be estimated. These performance measures depend on the allocation of buffers whenever the flow of material is occasionally disrupted, for example due to machine failures or quality problems. The book describes analytical methods that can be used to evaluate flow lines much faster than with simulation techniques. Based on these fast analytical techniques, it is possible to determine a flow line design that maximizes the net present value of the flow line investment. The flow of material through the line may be non-linear, for example due to assembly operations or quality inspections.