Supermarkets vs. FIFO Lanes – A Comparison of Work-in-Process Inventories and Delivery Performance

Supermarkets vs. FIFO Lanes – A Comparison of Work-in-Process Inventories and Delivery Performance

Preprint of Wiesse, Denis, and Christoph Roser. “Supermarkets vs. FIFO Lanes – A Comparison of Work-in-Process Inventories and Delivery Performance.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on the Advances in Production Management System. Iguassu Falls, Brazil, 2016.

Pull production is a key element for a lean manufacturing system. In pull production, buffer inventories between two processes can be implemented either through a FIFO lane as part of a kanban loop, or through a supermarket, in which case the value stream is split into two different kanban loops. This paper compares the usage of FIFO lanes and supermarkets with respect to the work-in-process inventory needed to achieve a similar delivery performance. The results clearly show that there is only a minor difference in inventory between the usage of FIFO lanes and supermarkets

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