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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 06 Mar 2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207543.2020.1735667

    Accepted author manuscript, 636 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 6/03/21

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

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Workload Control Order Release in General and Pure Flow Shops with Limited Buffer Size Induced Blocking: An Assessment by Simulation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/03/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Production Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date6/03/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Most manufacturing shops in practice have limited physical space in front of each workstation, due, for example, to physical, economical or operational constraints. As a result, a job may cause blocking because it has to remain at a given station after an operation has been completed until space in front of the next station in its routing becomes available. Despite this practical reality, the Workload Control literature typically assumes infinite buffer limits and therefore neglects the impact of blocking. Using simulation, we highlight the direct, detrimental impact of blocking in both the pure and general flow shop. Workload Control order release dampens the effect of blocking and improves overall performance. This makes Workload Control order release even more important in the context of shops with blocking or physical space constraints. Further analysis reveals that the impact of blocking is less pronounced in the pure flow shop given its directed routing. Finally, most of the blocking that occurs is because jobs cannot enter the shop, i.e. there is no space in front of the gateway station. This re-emphasises the close relationship between blocking and release methods that limit the workload, and it highlights the importance of workload balancing.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research on 06 Mar 2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207543.2020.1735667