A reduced model of a re-entrant semiconductor factory exhibiting all the important features is simulated, applying a push dispatch policy at the beginning of the line and a pull dispatch policy at the end of the line. A commonly used dispatching policy that deals with short-term fluctuations in demand involves moving the transition point between both policies, the push-pull point (PPP), around. It is shown that, with a mean demand starts policy, moving the PPP by itself does not improve the performance of the production line significantly over policies that use a pure push or a pure pull dispatch policy, or a CONWIP starts policy with pure pull dispatch policy. However, when the PPP control is coupled with a CONWIP starts policy, then for high demand with high variance, the improvement becomes approximately a factor of 4. The unexpected success of a PPP policy with CONWIP is explained using concepts from fluid dynamics that predict that this policy will not work for perishable demand. The prediction is verified through additional simulations.
- Dispatch policy
- Re-entrant production
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering