FIFO (first in, first out) is one of the simplest and most basic ideas in manufacturing, and yields significant benefits. It is so simple that I don’t even want to call it a tool, since it is one of the fundamentals in manufacturing (and many other areas). In this post I want to take a closer look at the power of this most fundamental approach to material flow.
Sometimes you would like to put more material in a single FIFO lane than the space you have available. In this case you would have to use a combination of two or more parallel FIFO lanes. In my last post I described how to maintain a strict FIFO sequence in parallel lanes. This post looks at an easier but less accurate method.
FIFO lanes are a common and easy way to manage material flow. However, sometimes there is not enough space to make a long FIFO lane. In this case the FIFO lane is often split into multiple sub-segments. This post looks at how to maintain strict (or strong) FIFO in such parallel FIFO lanes.
In my last post I looked at delivery sequences like FIFO, LIFO, etc. This second post looks at simple production sequences where you do have to deal with limited production capacity. If you cannot make everything at once, you need a sequence in which you process the parts.
Sometimes, when you need a part or product from your inventory, you may have more than one item in stock. Which one do you pick? In this blog post I want to present a few strategies for choosing which item to take. The most famous one is FIFO, but there are more options available. In my next post I will present similar strategies if you need to start production before the item becomes available.
Standard wisdom for creating a good material flow is to use FiFo lanes (First in, First out). In other words, the first part that goes into the line should also be the first part that comes back out. As such, FiFo lanes and its big brother, Supermarket, are essential for any lean material flow. However, some rules of wisdom can be bent and others can be broken. Here are the top five cases when NOT to use a FiFo lane.
FiFo lanes are an important tool to establish a pull system. They are often combined with kanban. However, while there is a lot of information on how to calculate the number of kanban (the Kanban Formula), there is very little information available on how large a FiFo should be. In my last post I talked about why we need FiFo lanes. In this post I want to discuss how large a FiFo should be.