Analysis of Single Work Stations

  • Tayfur Altiok
Part of the Springer Series in Operations Research book series (ORFE)


We start the analysis of manufacturing systems by first explaining the way we perceive them. Then we will focus on some simple cases of work stations with and without failures and demonstrate how these systems can be analyzed. A work station can be thought of as a work place in the shop floor as depicted in Fig3.1, where jobs arrive to be processed or machined. They are kept in the buffer zone (work-in-process (WIP) inventory) until their process begins and are transferred to other areas in the facility after their process is completed. The machines may experience random failures. Our approach in studying work stations in manufacturing environments is to perceive them as queueing systems. The flow of incoming jobs, either one by one or in batches, forms the arrival stream, which can be identified by the statistical characteristics of the time between consecutive arrivals. Service times are usually the processing times of jobs in the work station. Processing times may be augmented by random failures and repairs. Thus, a work station may very well be looked at as a queueing system with single or multiple servers, with finite or infinite waiting room (input buffer), and with a service policy depending on the operating characteristics of the work place. Queueing theory is a fairly well-developed field, and a considerable amount of research is being done on a variety of queueing systems and queueing networks. We demonstrate in this and other chapters that with some level of abstraction, queueing theory and queueing networks can be very useful in the analysis and design of manufacturing systems. In fact, queueing modeling of numerous systems have already been studied and can be found in Gross and Harris ([1974]), Cooper ([1990]), and Kleinrock ([1975]), among various others. Next we give a short introduction on the formulation and the analysis of queueing systems.


Processing Time Work Station Busy Period Shop Floor Repair Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tayfur Altiok
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA

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