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Course Objectives
  • Describe some important issues in the design and operation of manufacturing systems.
  • Explain important measures of system performance.
  • Show the importance of random, potentially disruptive events.
  • Give some intuition about behavior of these systems.
  • Explain the importance of capacity, and how it can vary randomly over time.
  • Teach enough mathematics (especially probability) to describe manufacturing systems behavior.
  • Show how in-process inventory is sometimes a necessary evil - that is, show the benefits as well as costs.
  • Present some practical tools for systems design.
  • Describe issues in real-time scheduling, and show why deterministic scheduling is often not adequate.
  • Present some simple scheduling rules.


Probability and optimization or permission of the instructor.

Probability (6.041 or 18.05) is the important prerequisite.


Take-home midterm and final.


Optional, to replace half of final.

Grading Policy

Homework 10%
Midterm 30%
Final 60%


Homework 10%
Midterm 30%
Final 30%
Project 30%


Amazon logo Gershwin, Stanley B. Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Paramus NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993. ISBN: 9780135606087. (Available with the instructor.)