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English Edition Chinese Translation
ISBN: 978-0-387-75578-6 ISBN: 978-7-5640-6068-8
2009 Springer 2012 Beijing Institute of Technology Press

This section of the website introduces PSE theory and PSE Toolbox to the academic audience: university faculty, research scientists, and graduate and undergraduate students.. In particular, it is intended to enable offering Production System Engineering courses at the university level. To request a full set of viewgraphs for such courses and a solution manual, please contact the authors. 

Purpose: This is a textbook for a graduate or senior undergraduate course on PSE. The aim is two-fold. First, it is intended to present the material, which is practical and applicable to production systems in large, medium and small volume manufacturing organizations. Second goal is to present this material at the same level of rigor as that in other engineering disciplines, such as Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc.

Main Topic: Production systems are machines and material handling devices (buffers) arranged so as to produce a desired product. This textbook does not address the issues of operation technology of either machines or material handling devices. Rather, addressed are the issues of parts flow through a production system. The parts flow is affected by production capacity and reliability of the machines as well as the storing capacity of the buffers. In general, numerous issues related to parts flow could be addressed. Included in this volume are only those, which have a clear practical significance. Thus, the rigorous mathematical study of practical issues related to parts flow in production systems with unreliable machines and finite buffers is the main topic of this textbook.

Method: Traditionally, production systems have been analyzed quantitatively using queuing theory techniques. In this book, we use a different approach. It is based on recursive equations, which describe production systems at hand. These equations are derived based on exact analysis of simplest systems and subsequent approximate analyses of more complex ones based on an aggregation technique. The properties of the resulting equations characterize the flow of parts and expose the laws that govern production systems behavior. Thus, a system-theoretic analysis, based on recursive aggregation procedures is the method employed in this textbook.

Solution paradigm: Solutions of the problems addressed in this text are presented in three formats. The first one consists of results proved analytically; they are referred to as Lemmas, or Theorems or Corollaries. The second -- includes properties, which are obtained numerically; they are referred to as Numerical Facts. Finally, the third includes the results referred to as Improvability Indicators; they are intended as a guide for production system improvements in the framework of the so-called Measurement-based Management.

Outcomes, and prerequisites: As an outcome of this course, the students will acquire rigorous and practical knowledge for analysis, design, and management of production systems. The only prerequisite is a prior exposure to Probability Theory.

Book organization: The textbook consists of five parts, each comprised of several chapters. The first part includes a review of Probability Theory and methods for mathematical modeling of production systems. All other parts are devoted to analysis and design of various classes of production systems.. Specifically, Part II is devoted to serial lines with the so-called Bernoulli machines. Part III treats similar problems for exponential and general models of machine reliability. Part IV addresses similar problems for assembly systems. Finally, Part V includes a summary of the main facts obtained in Production Systems Engineering; a description of the PSE Toolbox, which is a suite of user-friendly programs that implement the methods developed in this book; and the proofs of the theorems presented in this volume. In each part, every chapter begins with a motivating comment, which provides a reason for considering its subject matter. This is followed by an overview outlining specific problems addressed and the results obtained. Each chapter concludes with a set of homework problems and a brief annotated bibliography. Almost all chapters include case studies carried out on the factory floor.

Special features: While other books on production systems are centered mostly on performance analysis, the present volume has the following special features:
  • It describes methods for mathematical modeling of production systems.
  • It presents system-theoretic properties of production lines, namely, monotonicity, reversibility, and improvability.
  • It provides rigorous methods for identification of the bottleneck machines and bottleneck buffers.
  • It offers techniques for designing continuous improvement projects, leading to the so-called Measurement-based Management.
  • It offers quantitative methods for designing lean buffering.
  • It addresses the issues of product quality.
  • It describes techniques for the analyses of transient behavior of production lines.
  • It describes a software package, the PSE Toolbox, which implements the methods developed.
  • Finally, it includes numerous case studies, which illustrate the topics considered and, on occasion, serve as problems for homework assignments.
Advice to Instructors: There are several ways to structure a semester-long course based on this textbook. If the audience has a limited background in Probability Theory, the course could cover Parts I and II in details and a brief overview of Parts III and IV (mainly, the ideas of the aggregation procedures and bottleneck identification techniques). For an audience with a strong background in probability, the emphasis could be on Chapter 3 and Parts II and III; basic ideas of Part IV could also be covered. For a technically mature audience, the course may cover the entire book. Similar approaches can be used for a quarter-based course, but, of course, with a less detailed coverage of the material. The proofs of most mathematical statements included in this volume are typically not covered in class. However, doctoral-level students specializing in manufacturing may find it useful to study these proofs in order to develop their expertise for theoretical research; that is why the proofs are included in Chapter 20.