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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 424370, 7 pages
Research Article

Heuristics for the Buffer Allocation Problem with Collision Probability Using Computer Simulation

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Hosei University, 3-7-2 Kajino-cho, Koganei-shi 184-8584, Japan

Received 13 January 2015; Accepted 18 May 2015

Academic Editor: Yannis Dimakopoulos

Copyright © 2015 Eishi Chiba. 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.


The standard manufacturing system for Flat Panel Displays (FPDs) consists of a number of pieces of equipment in series. Each piece of equipment usually has a number of buffers to prevent collision between glass substrates. However, in reality, very few of these buffers seem to be used. This means that redundant buffers exist. In order to reduce cost and space necessary for manufacturing, the number of buffers should be minimized with consideration of possible collisions. In this paper, we focus on an in-line system in which each piece of equipment can have any number of buffers. In this in-line system, we present a computer simulation method for the computation of the probability of a collision occurring. Based on this method, we try to find a buffer allocation that achieves the smallest total number of buffers under an arbitrarily specified collision probability. We also implement our proposed method and present some computational results.