Applied Mathematics & Information Sciences


In this paper, a stochastic model, which describes the states of a manufacturing system by a set of differential equations, is developed. These equations are changed into a set of difference equations at steady state and then solved by MAPLE software to analyze performance measures of flexible manufacturing modules under different operational conditions. A manufacturing module consists of one or more flexible machines, a loading and unloading robot, and a part transfer pallet. Flexible machines are subject to frequent failures due to their high utilizations. Therefore, models are needed to determine the effects of various factors on system performance as well as the best maintenance and repair policies which optimize manufacturing system performance. The model presented in this paper can be useful for operation managers and engineers to analyze a given machining system.

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