Impact of flexible machines on automated manufacturing systems

J. A. Buzacott, Diwakar Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although the problem of scheduling dynamic job shops is well studied, setup and changeover times are often assumed to be negligibly small and therefore ignored. In cases where the product mix changes occur frequently, setup and changeover times are of critical importance. This paper applies some known results from the study of multi-class single-server queues with setup and changeover times to develop an approximation for evaluating the performance of job shops. It is found that the product mix, setup and changeover times, and scheduling rules affect the performance significantly, in particular at high levels of machine utilisation. This approach could be used to determine the required level of flexibility of machines and to choose an appropriate scheduling policy such that production rates remain within acceptable limits for foreseeable changes in the product mix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-205
Number of pages37
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988


  • Automated manufacturing systems
  • complete decomposition approximation
  • flexibility
  • queueing networks
  • scheduling rules
  • switchover times


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