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In this paper, an overlapping decomposition method is used to estimate the throughput of a production system with multiple rework loops. The idea of the method is to decompose the system into a couple of serial lines and modify the parameters of overlapping machines to accommodate the effects of other lines. Using this method, the throughput of an automotive paint shop is analyzed and continuous improvement procedures are described.
Note to Practitioners-Painting is an important element of vehicle production. A paint shop has been a system bottleneck in many automotive assembly plants due to its complexity. Fast and accurate analysis of its system throughput is important for design and continuous improvements. This paper introduces an iterative method to analyze the performance of paint shop type production systems, i.e., systems with multiple rework loops. The method has obtained good results in both theoretical study and applications on the factory floor. In addition, a case study at an automotive paint shop is introduced and continuous improvements process to identify and eliminate system bottlenecks is described. The presented method can also be applied to other production systems with similar structures.