European journal of operational research vol:179 issue:2 pages:424-443
This paper studies the impact of management policies, such as product allocation and campaign sizing, on the required size of the finished goods inventories in a multi-product multi-reactor batch process. Demand, setup and batch processing times for these products are assumed to be stochastic, and the inventory buffer for every product type needs to be such that target customer service levels are met. To perform this analysis, we develop a queueing model that allows us to explicitly estimate service levels as a function of the buffer size, and the allocation/campaign sizing policies. This model can be used to evaluate the service level given an existing buffer configuration, as well as to determine the buffer sizes required across products to meet a pre-specified service level. It also allows us to formulate a number of insights into how product allocation decisions and campaign planning policies affect buffer sizing decisions in symmetric production systems. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.