Production Lead Time in Serial Lines: Evaluation, Analysis, and Control

Semyon M. Meerkov, Chao-Bo Yan
2016 IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering  
Production Lead Time (LT ) is the average time a part spends in the system, being processed or waiting for processing. In systems with unlimited buffers, LT may be orders of magnitude larger than the total processing time, leading to serious economic and quality problems. At present, no systematic analytical methods for evaluation, analysis, and control of LT in systems with machines having up-and downtime characterized by continuous random variables are available. This paper is intended to
more » ... lop such methods. Specifically, we address synchronous serial lines with exponential machines and derive formulas for LT as a function of machine parameters and raw material release rate. Using these formulas, we develop methods for open-and closed-loop raw material release, which result in the desired LT . For asynchronous exponential lines, we provide an upper bound on LT . For non-exponential lines (e.g., Weibull, gamma, and log-normal), we offer an empirical formula for LT as an affine function of the coefficient of variation. The results reported in this paper enable a new paradigm for production systems management, namely: manage a production system so that the desired LT is ensured, while the throughput is maximized.
doi:10.1109/tase.2014.2365108 fatcat:y3i7osfg4vgqnb5h3kh66oqesm