A signal kanban system is used to order the production of various parts by processes with lengthy setup times, such as in metal stamping or injection molding. In this paper, we explore the behavior of signal kanban systems using simulations of systems producing two part types. Such simple models allows a visualization of the changes in the inventories of these parts under the signal kanban system. We consider the operation of the common fixed-batch signal kanban system, and a variation that we refer to as a fixed-fill policy. These policies are investigated under variations in demand, occasional disruptions in production, and modifications in policy parameters. Our investigations for this two-partproduction model indicate that a fixed-fill signal kanban system is significantly more robust than the more common fixed-batch kanban system.
This work has been supported in part by the Center for Manufacturing Systems at the University of Kentucky, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and ARO grant DAAH04-96-l- 399.
Holloway, Lawrence E., "Modeling and Simulation of Manufacturing Systems Under Signal Kanban Policies" (1997). Electrical and Computer Engineering Presentations. 5.