Fast Estimator of Performance with respect to the Design Parameters of Self Re-entrant Flowshops

Self re-entrant flowshops consist of machines which process jobs several times. They are found in applications like TFT-LCD assembly, LED manufacturing and industrial printing. The structure of a self re-entrant flowshop influences its performance. To get better performance while reducing costs a fast performance estimation method can be used to explore the trade-offs between the structure and the performance during the design process. We present a novel performance estimator that uses the information in the jobs being processed to analyse the trade-offs. We study the impact of the design parameters of an industrial printer using the performance estimator with an average estimation time of 1.1 milliseconds per job and with an average accuracy of not less than 96%.