Cross-training workers in dual resource constrained systems with heterogeneous processing times

J. A. C. Bokhorst*, G. J. C. Gaalman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the effect of cross-training workers in Dual Resource Constrained (DRC) systems with machines having different mean processing times. By means of queuing and simulation analysis, we show that the detrimental effects of pooling (cross-training) previously found in single resource constrained (SRC) heterogeneous systems are also apparent in DRC heterogeneous systems. Fully cross-training workers in DRC heterogeneous systems is only beneficial if the differences between mean processing times are not too large, otherwise cross-training should be pursued within homogeneous subgroups of machines. Due to the limited machine availability, DRC systems are unable to use some of the potential assignment flexibility from cross-trained workers (pooled queues) that can be used in SRC systems. However, it appears that this restriction in the DRC system may even improve the system mean flow (waiting) time performance compared to the SRC system for relatively large differences in processing time. Finally, in fully flexible multiple server queuing systems, restricting the assignment flexibility by applying a decentral when-rule (i.e. a commonly used labour assignment rule in practice and research) instead of a central when-rule also seems to improve the mean flow time performance under processing time differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6333-6356
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume47
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • cross-training
  • labour assignment
  • Dual Resource Constrained systems
  • pooling
  • MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS
  • BUCKET BRIGADES
  • JOB SHOPS
  • FLEXIBILITY
  • PERFORMANCE
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • MANAGEMENT
  • CUSTOMERS
  • POLICIES
  • QUEUES

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