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  • Thurer-Stevenson-Protzman_PPC

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Production Planning and Control on 22/05/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09537287.2016.1188224

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Card-based production control: a review of the control mechanisms underpinning Kanban, ConWIP, POLCA and COBACABANA systems

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Production Planning and Control
Issue number14
Volume27
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)1143-1157
Publication statusPublished
Early online date22/05/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Since the emergence of Kanban, there has been much research into card-based control systems. This has included attempts to improve Kanban and/or develop alternative systems, particularly ConWIP (i.e. Constant Work-In-Process), POLCA (i.e. Paired-cell Overlapping Loops of Cards with Authorisation) and COBACABANA (i.e. Control of Balance by Card-Based Navigation). Yet, to date, no unifying review of the mechanisms underpinning these systems has been presented. As a consequence, managers are not provided with sufficient support for choosing an appropriate system for their shop; and researchers lack a clear picture of how the mechanisms compare, leading to several misconceptions. This paper reviews the control mechanisms underpinning the Kanban, ConWIP, POLCA and COBACABANA systems. By comparing the ‘control mechanism’ (i.e. the loop structure and card properties) and ‘contextual factors’ (i.e. routing variability, processing time variability, and whether stations are decoupled by inventory or the flow of jobs is controlled), we provide managers with guidance on which system to choose. For research, we show for example that most criticisms put forward against Kanban systems, e.g. to justify the development of ConWIP, POLCA or COBACABANA, only apply to work-in-process Kanban systems and not to production Kanban systems. Future research directions for each control system are outlined.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Production Planning and Control on 22/05/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09537287.2016.1188224