The productivity of a manufacturing system is greatly influenced by the configuration of the manufacturing system. This paper examines the importance of configuration on productivity, and the improvements that can be obtained by bufferless parallel-serial configurations, i.e. multiple machining lines in parallel, both with and without crossover between the operations. Combinatorial algebraic models are developed to quantify the productivity of parallel-serial configurations. It is shown that significant improvements to productivity can be obtained by placing operations in parallel, and that there is a synergistic improvement to productivity from having crossover between the operations.
Issue Section:Technical Papers
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