This is a simplified model of a multistage manufacturing process. Each stage has a number of identical machines, and each machine can produce a random number of items in a fixed period of time. Each stage feeds the next stage. However, any stage from stage 2 on can produce only as many items as it receives, even it has the potential to produce more. The problem is to determine the number of machines at each stage to maximize mean profit, which is the revenue from selling all items produced during the period minus the operating costs of the machines.