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Estimating the throughput of an exponential CONWIP assembly system

Queueing Systems
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We consider a production system consisting of several fabrication lines feeding an assembly station where both fabrication and assembly lines consist of multiple machine exponential workstations and the CONWIP (CONstant Work-In-Process) mechanism is used to regulate work releases. We model this system as an assembly-like queue and develop approximations for the throughput and average number of jobs in queue. These approximations use an estimate of the time that jobs from each line spend waiting for jobs from other lines before being assembled. We use our approximations to gain insight into the related problems of capacity allocation, bottleneck placement and WIP setting.

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