AdvisorAskin, Ronald G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractManufacturing cells consisting of an empowered team of workers and the resources required to produce a family of related products have become popular in recent years. Such cells require significant changes in organizational policies for personnel, wage administration, accounting and scheduling. For example, there are usually fewer workers than machines and as a result cells are staffed by cross-trained workers. However, little is known about operating these cells since much of the research in this area has concentrated on the cell formation problem. This thesis discusses the issue of determining good operating policies for manufacturing cells. Operating policy refers to a protocol for setting lot sizes, transfer batch sizes, cell Work-In-Process limits and machine queue dispatching as well as worker assignment rules. Specific components of operating policies have been examined in isolation previously in different contexts. However, cell performance is determined not only by the individual components of policies but also by the nature of the interactions between them. Thus, it is imperative to study policies in an integrated manner in order to determine how best to utilize the limited resources of the cell. The initial part of the thesis is devoted to discussing a general framework which has been developed to parameterize operating policies. Specific policies can be recovered by assigning values to the parameters of the framework. A few examples illustrate the use of the framework. The remainder of the thesis focuses on the various ways in which the framework representation of policies can be used. This includes the development of a general purpose simulator using the Object-Oriented paradigm and analytical models for some policies. A comparison of various operating strategies using simulation and analytical models is also presented. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the insights gleaned from this work as well as directions for future work.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Systems and Industrial Engineering