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Evaluation of alternative assembly line arrangements with stochastic operation times A computer simulation approach

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a computer simulation model to evaluate increasing versus decreasing mean operation times assembly line arrangement for normal and exponential distributions and the variances equal to 1 and 16. Design/methodology/approach – The model was developed on the basis of a realistic case problem and applied to a six‐station assembly line. The evaluation criteria were: the minimization of the total elapsed time; the maximization of the average percentage of working time; and the minimization of the average time in the system. Findings – The increasing mean operation times line arrangement is superior to the decreasing mean operation times line arrangement for the normal and exponential distributions and the variances equal to 1 and 16, in terms of the total elapsed time and the average percentage of the working time evaluation criteria. The decreasing mean operation times lines is marginally superior to the increasing operation times line for the normal distribution for the variances equal to 1 and 16, in terms of the average time in the system evaluation criterion. The above inference can be made for the exponential distribution for the variance 16, but no definitive conclusion can be made for the variance 1. Overall, the increasing mean operation times line arrangement has proven to be superior to the decreasing operation times line arrangement for both the stated distributions and variances, in terms of the important evaluation criteria. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the computer simulation approach to solving assembly line problems that deal with the impact of normally and exponentially distributed operation times, with variances equal to 1 and 16, on the increasing and decreasing mean operation times assembly line arrangements. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Emerald Publishing
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