Buffer allocation in unreliable production lines based on design of experiments, simulation, and genetic algorithm


This paper presents a multiobjective formulation of the buffer allocation problem in unreliable production lines. Majority of the solution methods for buffer allocation problems assume that the process times, time between failures, and repair times are deterministic or exponentially distributed. This paper relaxes these restrictions by proposing a simulation-based methodology which can consider general function distributions for all parameters of production lines. Factorial design has been used to build a meta-model for estimating production rate based on a detailed, discrete event simulation model. We use genetic algorithm combined to line search method to solve the multiobjective model and determining the optimal (or near optimal) size of each buffer storage.