Automated flow lines with shared buffer
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The paper addresses the problem of fully using buffer spaces in manufacturing flow lines. The idea is to exploit recent technological devices to move in reasonable times pieces from a machine to a common buffer area of the system and vice versa. In such a way machines can avoid their blocking since they can send pieces to the shared buffer area. The introduction of the buffer area shared by all machines of the system leads to an increase of production rate as demonstrated by simulation experiments. Also, a preliminary economic evaluation on a real case has been carried out to estimate the profitability of the system comparing the increase of production rate, obtained with the new system architecture, with the related additional cost.
KeywordsFlow lines Buffer allocation System design Performance evaluation
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