Workload control dynamics in practice

G. D. Soepenberg*, M. J. Land, G. J. C. Gaalman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Workload control (WLC) is a well established production planning and control concept for make-to-order companies. The main insights into WLC are being gained from stationary simulation studies. Knowledge on its functioning in practice is limited, especially in a dynamic setting. The aim of this paper is to identify and classify the key issues when WLC is being used to control logistical performance in a dynamic setting. For this purpose an empirical research project in a company is carried out, in which both quantitative scanning data and qualitative workshop data are obtained and analysed over one year. Throughput diagrams and order progress diagrams support the analysis of the quantitative data obtained. Various types of dynamics could be discerned, but all implying similar requirements in terms of adaptations to the control concept. Whereas research in stationary settings addresses parameter choices, this study shows that it is issues on timing and magnitude of control adjustments that need to be addressed if WLC is to be used effectively in a dynamic setting. The empirical study shows that if the dynamics are not adequately taken into account, buffers may starve while throughput times become uncontrolled over time, despite the use of WLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-460
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • workload control
  • production planning and control
  • make-to-order
  • empirical study
  • ORIENTED MANUFACTURING CONTROL
  • ORDER RELEASE
  • OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
  • CONTROL WLC
  • JOB SHOPS
  • SYSTEMS
  • APPLICABILITY
  • PERSPECTIVES
  • INDUSTRY
  • ISSUES

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