The computer simulation of manufacturing systems is commonly carried out using discrete event simulation (DES). Indeed, there appears to be a lack of applications of continuous simulation methods, particularly system dynamics (SD), despite evidence that this technique is suitable for industrial modelling. This paper investigates whether this is due to a decline in the general popularity of SD, or whether modelling of manufacturing systems represents a missed opportunity for SD. On this basis, the paper first gives a review of the concept of SD and fully describes the modelling technique. Following on, a survey of the published applications of SD in the 1990s is made by developing and using a structured classification approach. From this review, observations are made about the application of the SD method and opportunities for future research are suggested.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Baines, T., & Harrison, D. K. (1999). An opportunity for system dynamics in manufacturing system modelling. Production planning and control, 10(6), 542-552. Production planning and control 1999 © Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/095372899232830