In this paper we study the effect of interstage buffer storage on the output of a line consisting of a number of balanced, perfectly reliable production units in series and a single unreliable machine, with higher speed. Lifetime and repairtime of this machine are exponentially distributed. We give an analytical treatment using regeneration points. It appears that the line may be reduced essentially to a two-stage production line.

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Journal IIE Transactions
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de Koster, M.B.M, & Wijngaard, J. (1985). On the equivalence of multi-stage production lines and two-stage lines. IIE Transactions, 19(3), 351–354. doi:10.1080/07408178708975406