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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research on 12 May 2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207543.2020.1761038

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.6 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 12/05/21

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Workload Control in Additive Manufacturing Shops where Post-Processing is a Constraint: An Assessment by Simulation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/05/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Production Research
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date12/05/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) shops typically produce high variety, low volume products on a to-order basis. Products are first created in parallel batches at a single AM station before being subjected to several post-processing operations. While there exists an emerging literature on AM station scheduling and order book smoothing, this literature has largely neglected downstream post-processing operations, which also affect overall performance. Workload Control provides a unique production control solution for these post-processing operations, but the specific AM shop structure has been neglected in the literature. Using simulation, this study shows that load balancing via the use of workload norms, as is typical for Workload Control, becomes ineffective since the norm must allow for the operation throughput time at the AM station and for its variability. A sequencing rule for the jobs waiting to be released that inherently creates a mix of jobs that balances the workload is therefore identified as the best-performing rule. These findings reinforce the principle that load limiting should be used at upstream stations whereas sequencing should be applied at downstream stations. Finally, although the focus is on AM shops, the findings have implications for other shops with similar structures, e.g. in the steel and semi-conductor industries.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research on 12 May 2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207543.2020.1761038