Performance evaluation of an automatic transfer line with WIP scrapping during long failures
We develop a model of a failure-prone, bufferless, paced, automatic transfer line in which material flows through a number of workstations in series, receiving continuous processing along each workstation. When a workstation fails, it stops operating, and so do all the other workstations upstream of it. The quality of the material trapped in the stopped workstations deteriorates with time. If this material remains immobilized beyond a certain critical time, its quality becomes unacceptable and it must be scrapped. We develop analytical expressions for important system performance measures for two cases. In the first case, the in-process material has no memory of the quality deterioration that it experienced during previous stoppages, whereas in the second case it has. In both cases, we assume that the workstation uptimes and downtimes follow memoryless distributions. We use the analytical expressions to numerically study the effect of system parameters on system performance. To evaluate the memoryless assumption, we compare the performance of the original model to that of a modified model in which the workstation downtimes do not follow memoryless distributions. The performance of the modified model is obtained via simulation.