Optimal Buffer Allocation for Remanufacturing System Using Meta-Heuristic Algorithm
Remanufacturing system is complicated due to its stochastic nature. Random customer demand, return product rate and system unreliability contribute to this complexity. Remanufacturing systems with unreliable machines usually contain intermediate buffers which are used to decouple the machines, thereby reducing mutual interference due to machine breakdowns. Intermediate buffers should be optimized to eliminate waste of resources and avoid loss of throughput. The problem deals with finding optimal buffer sizes to be allocated into buffer locations to achieve specific objectives. We develop a model for remanufacturing system based on realistic assumptions, with finite buffers, unbalanced and unreliable servers. We utilize the decomposition principle and expansion method for evaluating system performance and implement an efficient Meta-heuristic search algorithm to find an optimal buffer allocation. The computational experiments show a better quality, more accurate, efficient, reliable and fast of solutions obtained by the proposed algorithm. Finally, we apply proposed method on Toner cartridge Remanufacturing Company as a case study and present numerical results based on proposed methodology. Numerical experiments which are performed on our method are provided to show the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed algorithms.
Keywords- Buffer Allocation, Finite capacity, Meta-heuristic Algorithm, Remanufacturing.