Placement of effective work-in-progress limits in route-specific unit-based pull systems

N. Ziengs, J. Riezebos, R. Germs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Unit-based pull systems control the throughput time of orders in a production system by limiting the number of orders on the shop floor. In production systems where orders can follow different routings on the shop floor, route-specific pull systems that control the progress of orders on the shop floor by placing limits on the number of orders in (parts of) a routing, have shown to be effective in controlling throughput times. This is because route-specific pull systems are able to create a balanced distribution of the amount of work on the shop floor, which leads to shorter and more reliable throughput times. The placement of limits on work-inprogress in a route-specific pull system determines to a large extent the workload balancing capability of such a system. This paper shows how the placement of work-in-progress limits affects the workload balancing capability and thereby the throughput time performance of a route-specific unit-based pull system, namely POLCA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4358-4371
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • control strategies
  • job shops
  • kanban
  • polca
  • multiproduct
  • performance
  • conwip
  • mrp


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