In this paper complex production systems are studied where a single product is manufactured and where each production unit stores its output in at most one buffer and receives its input from at most one buffer. The production units and the buffers may be connected nearly arbitrarily. The buffers are supposed to be of finite capacity and the goods flow is continuous. For such netwroks it is possible to estimate the throughput by applying repeated aggregation over the production units. The approximation appears to be best when the network shows some resemblance with a flow line.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
European Journal of Operational Research
Erasmus Research Institute of Management