Customized Pull Systems for Single-Product Flow Lines

E.G.A. Gaury, J.P.C. Kleijnen, H. Pierreval

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Traditionally pull production systems are managed through classic control systems such as Kanban, Conwip, or Base stock, but this paper proposes ‘customized’ pull control. Customization means that a given production line is managed through a pull control system that in principle connects each stage of that line with each preceding stage; optimization of the corresponding simulation model, however, shows which of these potential control loops are actually implemented. This novel approach may result in one of the classic systems, but it may also be another type: (1) the total line may be decomposed into several segments, each with its own classic control system (e.g., segment 1 with Kanban, segment 2 with Conwip); (2) the total line or segments may combine different classic systems; (3) the line may be controlled through a new type of system. These different pull systems are found when applying the new approach to a set of twelve production lines. These lines are configured through the application of a statistical (Plackett-Burman) design with ten factors that characterize production lines (such as line length, demand variability, and machine breakdowns).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOperations research
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • Pull production / inventory
  • sampling
  • optimization
  • evolutionary algorithm


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