Order release in synchronous manufacturing

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Synchronous manufacturing aims at achieving the benefits of intermittent production lines in production situations that operate without lines. Benefits such as short and constant throughput times and predictable capacity loading can be acquired through an appropriate design of the synchronous manufacturing system and its control system. The order release mechanism is an essential part of this control system. It determines the sequence in which orders are released to the shop floor. As orders may differ in the amount and distribution of their capacity requirements over subsequent production stages, total capacity load may vary overtime. If the available capacity per period is not flexible, capacity balancing becomes an issue in the order release decision. Human employees that work in such a system should be safeguarded from frequent unbalances in their working pattern. They are empowered and trained to contribute to several stages of production, but their motivation decreases rapidly if their working schedules do not give attention to stability issues. In practice, employees in the cells use heuristics to solve this problem, but the effectiveness of these heuristics is questioned. This article designs heuristics based on insights from assembly system design and workload control. These heuristics can be used by the employees within the synchronous manufacturing system. As an alternative, we design a solution approach that provides the employees with an optimal release sequence. The differences in the design approaches are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number921488472
Pages (from-to)347-358
Number of pages12
JournalProduction Planning & Control
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • production planning
  • cellular manufacturing
  • order release algorithms
  • FLOW

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