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Push vs Pull

Push vs Pull

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Published by Mohd Nazri Salim

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Published by: Mohd Nazri Salim on Jan 27, 2012
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04/11/2014

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Go Back Push Vs Pull System Push System: In a push system, releases are scheduled.

So, throughput is determined by a exogenously set release rate (given by the Master Production Schedule). Since the releases are linked to orders (or forecasts), a push system is controlled by upstream information and is inherently make-to-order. In terms of our nomenclature, open lines are push systems because they have no endogenous restriction on releases to the line. Pull System: In a pull system, releases are authorized. That is, there is an endogenous signal based on system status that determines whether a release is allowed or not. In particular, the system status that triggers releases is based on stock voids, which means that a pull system is controlled by downstream information and is inherently make-to-stock. In our nomenclature, closed lines are pull systems, because buffer spaces act as stock voids to trigger releases.

Push versus Pull System

Push/Pull Interface It is not necessary that a production line be pure push or pure pull. One can design a line so that a segment of the line operates as push and the another segment operates as pull. We present a specific example to illustrate this. Example Consider two hypothetical fast food centers, Custom Taco and Quick Taco. In both the systems raw material (uncooked food and packaging material) is cooked, assembled and packaged before being sold to the customer. However, the two systems use a different push/pull interface to achieve different performance from the system.

On the other hand. since items are moved in response to customer orders. However.g. the line operates as a push system. The processes are the same as for the Custom Taco line.Production system for Custom Taco The Custom Taco production line is shown in the figure above. there is little difference between the cost of holding inventory as raw materials or finished goods inventory. That is. That is. in a line that produces a single product (e. since releases are triggered by removal of items from stock. food items are produced in response to customer orders (which represent a schedule) that determines the release rate for the items. In terms of system performance. . However. in such a system. Costs are strongly dependent on how rapidly the product proliferates as it traverses the production line. it has more inventory because items are stocked at the assembled level. this line may not be responsive from a service standpoint. The most attractive place to locate the push/pull interface depends on customer expectations as well as costs. since the customer sees the entire production time as lead time. but not bagged food items (Assembly puts wrappers on individual items. a machine shop that does custom prototyping). while packaging puts them into bags to fill orders.. Hence.g. ball point pens). the order for refilling the refrigerator is released when the level of a particular item reaches its reorder point. The Quick Taco line is more responsive. Everything beyond the refrigerator is run according to a push system. For instance. since the customer sees only the time to package and sell the items. the Custom Taco line is well-suited to a high degree of product variety. Inventory is held in its most generic form (raw material) and hence inventory costs are low. the line before the warming table operates as a pull system. The tradeoff involved in moving the push/pull interface closer to the customer is one of trading higher inventory for faster delivery. The refrigerator for stocking the raw material is run according to a pull system. consider the Quick Taco production line illustrated above.. However. The transition between the pull system and the push system occurs between the refrigerator and the cooking stage and therefore represents the push/pull interface for the system. we have added a warming table after the assembly stage which stores a predetermined level of assembled. Production system for Quick Taco In contrast.) Hence. Beyond the warming table. there is no choice but to hold inventory at the raw material level and run the system in make-to-order mode. in a system where every order is customized after the first step in the process (e. it may make sense to put the push/pull interface at finished goods inventory and run the entire system as in make-to-stock mode.

Go Back . the cost versus delivery speed tradeoff is strongly affected by the rate of product proliferation and therefore the proper placement of the push/pull interface is a highly individualized decision for a given production system. the warming table can be placed after assembly because there are relatively few items (e.g. in the Quick Taco line.. For instance. Hence. since the number of products (i.. all possible combinations of bags of tacos and burritos) would be too large. an intermediate push/pull interface may make sense. where there is some product proliferation. three taco types and two burrito types).For most lines.e. But placing the warming table after packaging would not be feasible.

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