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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2006, Article ID 17105, 24 pages

Lean buffering in serial production lines with Bernoulli machines

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2122, USA

Received 8 February 2006; Accepted 7 April 2006

Copyright © 2006 A. B. Hu and S. M. Meerkov. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lean buffering is the smallest buffer capacity necessary to ensure the desired production rate of a manufacturing system. In this paper, analytical methods for selecting lean buffering in serial production lines are developed under the assumption that the machines obey the Bernoulli reliability model. Both closed-form expressions and recursive approaches are investigated. The cases of identical and nonidentical machines are analyzed. Results obtained can be useful for production line designers and production managers to maintain the required production rate with the smallest possible inventories.