Category Archives: Inventory

What Is POLCA?

POLCA stands for Paired-Cell Overlapping Loops of Cards with Authorization and was developed by Rajan Suri around 1990. It is sometimes mentioned alongside kanban and CONWIP as a production control system. Let me explain to you how POLCA works. In my next post I look at the pros and cons of POLCA. In my last post of this mini-series, I will show you the calculation for the number of POLCA cards, including some critical comments.

The similar-sounding word Polka is also a Czech dance music and textile pattern, hence the colorful illustration of the polka dots on the left (don’t worry, more technical diagrams will follow below). Continue reading What Is POLCA?

Effect of Prioritization on Waiting Times

Prioritizing one part over others is an easy way to speed up the production of the prioritized part. However, if too many parts are prioritized, the performance of the others will suffer.

My general recommendation is to prioritize no more than 30% of your production volume. In this post I will look in more detail at this relation and verify this assumption (TL;DR: this is correct!). This post is based on a masters thesis by my student Yannic Jäger. Continue reading Effect of Prioritization on Waiting Times

Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 2

The spaces around your assembly locations are most precious. In my previous post I explained how to relocate or reduce the overall material quantity. In this post I focus on how to better use the area facing the worker. Ideally, all material should be within easy reach of the worker. Continue reading Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 2

Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 1

Assembly needs lots of parts. Especially if you have larger parts, you may find that you are running out of space to put them. Fear not, there are a number of things that you can do to solve this problem. This post will present you with all the solutions (that I know) to remedy a space shortage in assembly. Continue reading Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 1

Structured Approach to Material Supply for Assembly – Part 1

Supplying material for assembly operations can be quite a challenge. After describing the challenges in the previous post, I would like to show you in two posts what you need to consider when you want to create an assembly location. This is a somewhat structured approach on how to set up a material supply for your assembly operations, although you will still need some iterations to achieve a good solution. After that I will have a post focused on what to do if you are running out of space at your assembly location. Continue reading Structured Approach to Material Supply for Assembly – Part 1