Throughput maximization in serial production lines with worksharing

Jiaqiong Chen, Ronald Askin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In the traditional serial line model, tasks are assigned to unique workstations. We consider the case of partially cross-trained workers where some tasks may be performed at either of a pair of adjacent workstations. We investigate dynamic decision rules for guiding the operators' decision regarding when to complete the shared tasks and when to pass a unit along to the next workstation. The objective is to maximize throughput in constant work-in-process systems with low levels of work in process. A simple rule based on a buffer threshold level is shown to be nearly optimal for the two-stage line. Extensions to longer lines are provided and we show that myopic strategies that only consider adjacent workstations continue to perform well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-101
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Buffers
  • Production control
  • Throughput
  • Worksharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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