Workload control in job shops with re-entrant flows:an assessment by simulation

Thurer, Matthias and Stevenson, Mark (2016) Workload control in job shops with re-entrant flows:an assessment by simulation. International Journal of Production Research, 54 (17). pp. 5136-5150. ISSN 0020-7543

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One of the key functions of Workload Control is order release. Jobs are not released immediately onto the shop floor – they are withheld and selectively released to create a mix of jobs that keeps work-in-process within limits and meet due dates. A recent implementation of Workload Control’s release method highlighted an important issue thus far overlooked by research: How to accommodate re-entrant flows, whereby a station is visited multiple times by the same job? We present the first study to compare the performance of Workload Control both with and without re-entrant flows. Simulation results from a job shop model highlight two important aspects: (i) re-entrant flows increase variability in the work arriving at a station, leading to a direct detrimental effect on performance; (ii) re-entrant flows affect the release decision-making process since the load contribution of all visits by a job to a station has to fit within the norm. Both aspects have implications for practice and our interpretation of previous research since: (i) parameters given for work arriving may significantly differ from those realised; (ii) increased workload contributions at release mean that prior simulations may have been unstable, leading to some jobs never being released.

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Journal Article
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International Journal of Production Research
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research on 02/03/2016, available online:
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22 Feb 2016 14:44
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 02:56