Hi, thebranchingsta!

The Science of Manufacturing is very interesting, and often gives very unituitive results. For instance, the Pollaczek-Khinchine equation suggests that the coefficients of variation of the service times will have an effect on the cycle time.

Depending on your current operations, cutting process times in half could make the arrival rate of batches rise above the service rate of a process, and the queue could grow to infinity. I doubt that a reasonable neural network model could accurately predict that.

I think the state of the art is nonlinear constrained simulation and global optimization.

Good luck!