On the distribution of throughput of transfer lines
A transfer line corresponds to a manufacturing system consisting of a number of work stations in series integrated into one system by a common transfer mechanism and a control system. There is a vast literature on the transfer lines. However, little has been done on the transient analysis of these systems by making use of the higher order moments of their performance measures due to the difficulty in determining the evolution of the stochastic processes under consideration. This thesis examines the transient behavior of relatively short transfer lines and derives the distribution of the performance measures of interest. The proposed method based on the analytical derivation of the distribution of throughput is also applied to the systems with two-part types. An experiment is designed in order to compare the results of this study with the state-space representations and the simulation. They are also interpreted from the point of view of the line behavior and design issue. Furthermore, extensions are briefly discussed and directions for future research are suggested.