A lean production control system for high-variety/low-volume environments: a case study implementation

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Abstract

Due to the success of lean manufacturing, many companies are interested in implementing a lean production control system. Lean production control principles include the levelling of production, the use of pull mechanisms and takt time control. These principles have mainly been applied in high volume flow shop environments where orders move through the production system in one direction in a limited number of identifiable routing sequences. This article investigates how lean production control principles can be used in a make-to-order job shop, where volume is typically low and there is high variety. We show how production levelling, constant work in process, first in first out and takt time can be integrated in a lean production control system. A case study is presented to illustrate the design and phased implementation of the system in a typical dual resource constrained production environment. The case study demonstrates that lean production control principles can be successfully implemented in a high-variety/low-volume context. Implementation led to a reduction in flow times and an increase in the service level achieved, with on-time delivery performance improving from 55 to 80%.
Original languageEnglish
Article number914966418
Pages (from-to)586-595
JournalProduction Planning & Control
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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