Optimal design of stochastic production lines: A dynamic programming approach

Karen L. Donohue, Wallace J. Hopp, Mark L. Spearman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the problem of choosing the number and type of machines for each station in a new production line where the sequence of processes (i.e., manufacturing recipe) has already been established. We formulate a model to minimize cost (investment plus operating) subject to constraints on throughput and cycle time. Using queueing network approximations within a dynamic programming framework, we develop a line design algorithm that works in station-wise fashion. For computational tractability, we must discretize a continuous state space. However, we are able to compute bounds on the error in the cost function as a guide to the appropriate choice of grid size. We conclude by applying our algorithm to an industrial problem that motivated this work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-903
Number of pages13
JournalIIE Transactions (Institute of Industrial Engineers)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal design of stochastic production lines: A dynamic programming approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this