Analysis of serial production lines: Characterisation study and a new heuristic procedure for optimal buffer allocation

Sabuncuoglu I., Erel E., Gocgun Y.

International Journal of Production Research, vol.44, no.13, pp.2499-2523, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 13
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00207540500465535
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Production Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2499-2523
  • Keywords: serial production lines, buffer allocation, bottleneck
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


Buffer allocation in serial production lines is one of the important design issues, and hence it has been studied extensively in the literature. In this paper, we analyse the problem to characterise the optimal buffer allocation; specifically, we study the cases with single and multiple bottleneck stations under various experimental conditions. In addition, we develop an efficient heuristic procedure to allocate buffers in serial production lines to maximise throughput. The results of the computational experiments indicate that the proposed algorithm is very efficient in terms of both solution quality and CPU time requirements. Moreover, the characterisation study yields interesting findings that may lead to important practical implications. A comprehensive bibliography is also provided in the paper.