INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY, vol.54, pp.1199-1218, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
In this paper, we introduce a near optimal buffer allocation plan specifically developed for a remanufacturing system with finite buffers and server vacations. During server vacations, the server stops service for a random amount of time during which arrivals continue to occur. The term server vacation may be used for cases where the server leaves the primary queuing system to work on alternative duties for a random duration every time the server becomes idle (e.g., server could leave to work on additional tasks that he is responsible for or perform preventive maintenance on equipments). The remanufacturing system considered here consists of three modules, viz., the disassembly and testing modules for returned products and the remanufacturing module. In order to analyze the system, we propose an algorithm that uses an open queueing network, decomposition principle, and expansion methodology. The buffer allocation algorithm distributes the given number of available buffer slots among the remanufacturing system stations to optimize the system's performance. The algorithm has been thoroughly tested using a variety of experimental conditions. The results show that the performance of the algorithm is consistent, robust, and produces excellent results.