This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Production Research, Volume 38, Issue 9, June 1, 2000, pages 2011-2021.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/002075400188465.
The manufacturing systems capable of producing several products simultaneously are frequently subject to changes in product types due to demand fluctuations. In such systems a product flexible manufacturing planning and control (MPC) strategy is needed to change from one product type to another with minimum deterioration to system performance levels. The objective of this research is to develop a systematic analysis and evaluation approach in order to compare the MRP-push and JIT-pull strategies quantitatively based on a product flexibility measure. A new product flexibility measure is developed based on the sensitivity to change concept and presented together with the implementation in a real manufacturing system. Simulation is used to compare the performance of a JIT-pull with an MRP-push strategy based on performance measures, e.g. manufacturing lead time, work-in-process inventory, backorders, machine utilization and throughput. The performances of the two strategies are evaluated in two scenarios: (i) a single product; (ii) a second product is added (the first product being simple and the second being complex in terms of processing). The impacts of adding the second product on the performance measures for the push and pull strategies are then assessed. A multi-attribute evaluation scheme is used to compare the two strategies where the attribute values are the change in performance measures as the second product is added. The proposed product flexibility measure is utilized in the interpretation of the results.
Industrial Engineering | Manufacturing
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