The paper deals with the main design problem for series production systems, namely the choice of efficiency-optimal values of interstage buffer capacities. It is shown that the design tool must be an accurate dynamic model, able to describe both work station reliability and the couplings among stations (i.e., blocking and starving situations) due to finite storage spaces. By use of this model, the buffer size planning problem can be solved by developing a sensitivity analysis of the model operation modes with respect to buffer capacity values. According to this approach, an analysis of the transfer line efficiency reduction, due to either nonoptimal capacity values or station reliability variations, is also performed.

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