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In bucket brigade" manufacturing, such as recently introduced to the apparel industry, a production line has n workers moving among m stations, where each w orker independently follows a simple rule that determines what to do next. Our analysis suggests and experiments connrm that if the workers are sequenced from slowest to fastest then, independently of… (More)

To construct a short tour through points in the plane, the points are sequenced as they appear along a spacefilling curve. This heuristic consists essentially of sorting, so it is easily coded and requires only <italic>O</italic>(<italic>N</italic>) memory and <italic>O</italic>(<italic>N</italic> log <italic>N</italic>) operations. Its performance is… (More)

" Bucket brigades " are a way of sharing work on a flow line that results in the spontaneous emergence of balance and consequent high throughput. All this happens without a work-content model or traditional assembly line balancing technology. Here we show that bucket brigades can be effective even in the presence of variability in the work content. In… (More)

We show h o w to minimize labor costs in a less-than-truckload LTL freight terminal by properly assigning incoming and outgoing trailers to doors. Our models are based on the geometry of the terminal, the material handling systems within, and the mix of freight passing through. We report on the application of our models at diierent terminals, including an… (More)

W ithin both retail distribution and less-than-truckload transportation networks crossdocks vary greatly in shape. Docks in the shape of an I, L, or T are most common, but unusual ones may be found, including those in the shape of a U, H, or E. Is there a best shape? We show that the answer depends on the size of the facility and on the pattern of freight… (More)

We develop a heuristic for a problem motivated by the loading of aircraft or trucks: pack blocks into a bin so that their center-of-gravity is as close as possible to a target point. Our heuristic either produces good solutions or else signals that none is possible. It also works when loading non-homogeneous blocks into a bin of non-zero and possibly… (More)

We show how to build a continuous, one-dimensional index of the points on a triangulated irregular network (TIN). The index is constructed by first finding an ordering of the triangles in which consecutive triangles share a vertex or an edge. Then, the space within each triangle is continuously indexed with a space-filling curve that begins at one vertex of… (More)

A fundamental problem of cyclic staffing is to size and schedule a minimum-cost workforce so that sufficient workers are on duty during each time period. This may be modeled as an integer linear program with a cyclically structured 0-1 constraint matrix. We identify a large class of such problems for which special structure permits the ILP to be solved… (More)

We describe all possible asymptotic behavior of "bucket brigade" production lines wilh two or three workers, each characterized by a constant work velocity. The results suggest wariness in interpreting simulation results. They also suggest a strategy for partitioning a workforce into effective teams to staff the lines. B ucket b/igade production is a way of… (More)

We describe a method, based on vertex-labeling, to generate algorithms for manipulating the Hilbert spaceelling curve in the following ways: 1. Computing the image of a point i n R 1. 2. Computing a pre-image of a point i n R 2. 3. Drawing a nite approximation of the curve. 4. Finding neighbor cells in a decomposition ordered according to the curve. Our… (More)