A two-stage stochastic rule-based model to determine pre-assembly buffer content


1 Industrial Engineering Department, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey

2 Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

3 Industrial Engineering Department, American University of the Middle East, Eqaila, Kuwait


This study considers instant decision-making needs of the automobile manufactures for resequencing vehicles before final assembly (FA). We propose a rule-based two-stage stochastic model to determine the number of spare vehicles that should be kept in the pre-assembly buffer to restore the altered sequence due to paint defects and upstream department constraints. First stage of the model decides the spare vehicle quantities, where the second stage model recovers the scrambled sequence respect to pre-defined rules. The problem is solved by sample average approximation (SAA) algorithm. We conduct a numerical study to compare the solutions of heuristic model with optimal ones and provide following insights: (i) as the mismatch between paint entrance and scheduled sequence decreases, the rule-based heuristic model recovers the scrambled sequence as good as the optimal resequencing model, (ii) the rule-based model is more sensitive to the mismatch between the paint entrance and scheduled sequences for recovering the scrambled sequence, (iii) as the defect rate increases, the difference in recovery effectiveness between rule-based heuristic and optimal solutions increases, (iv) as buffer capacity increases, the recovery effectiveness of the optimization model outperforms heuristic model, (v) as expected the rule-based model holds more inventory than the optimization model.