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Load-based POLCA: an assessment of the load accounting approach

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POLCA (i.e. Paired-cell Overlapping Loops of Cards with Authorization) is a card-based decision support system for production control developed to support the adoption of Quick Response Manufacturing. In POLCA, the flow of jobs through the production system is controlled through a combination of release authorisations and production control cards - POLCA cards. In this paper, we discuss a load-based version of the POLCA system (LB-POLCA), which draws on recent insights from the Workload Control literature. In this context, a question arises: what is the load (e.g. in hours) that a POLCA card should represent? Using simulation, we demonstrate that insights from the Workload Control literature cannot be straight transferred to the POLCA system. Results further demonstrate that significant performance improvements for all card acquisition rules considered in this study can be realized when the POLCA card represents the operation time the job imposes to the second station of the pair.