SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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Managing Bottlenecks In Fast And Randomly Changing Production Environment
Thomas Bobga Tengen

Last modified: 2013-06-23


Bottlenecks create unnecessary requirements for material handling within production settings.  Several approaches have been developed and implemented to address bottlenecks such as line balancing, slowest workstation determining the paces at which other workstations operate, introduction of storage buffer, etc. Unfortunately, the existing models dwell on deterministic parameters such as fixed production rate, fixed demands, fixed production cycle time, fixed workstation cycle time, constant pace of the slowest workstation, etc. With the key word being fixed, this paper improves on existing approaches by randomising the fixed parameters that are all functions of time. This is achieved by establishing the time-increments of the production parameters and making them stochastic by the addition of fluctuation terms. The theory of Ito’s Stochastic Differential Rule and Linear combination are applied.

Results reveal that an increase in demands, at constant flow/production output rate, requires an increase in production resources, increase in storage buffer requirement and increase pressure on the production environment when the existing models are employed. The employment of the proposed improved approach shows consideration reduction in the amount of required resources and storage buffers. The effects of machine degradations are also revealed

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