Evaluation of pull production control strategies under uncertainty: An integrated fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS approach

Aydin Torkabadi, Rene Mayorga


Purpose: Just-In-Time (JIT) production has continuously been considered by industrial practitioners and researchers as a leading strategy for the yet popular Lean production. Pull Production Control Policies (PPCPs) are the major enablers of JIT that locally control the level of inventory by authorizing the production in each station. Aiming to improve the PPCPs, three authorization mechanisms: Kanban, constant-work-in-process (ConWIP), and a hybrid system, are evaluated by considering uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach: Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) methods are successful in evaluating alternatives with respect to several objectives. The proposed approach of this study applies the fuzzy set theory together with an integrated Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and a Technique for Order Performance by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method.

Findings: The study finds that hybrid Kanban-ConWIP pull production control policies have a better performance in controlling the studied multi-layer multi-stage manufacturing and assembly system.

Practical implications: To examine the approach a real case from automobile electro mechanical part production industry is studied. The production system consists of multiple levels of manufacturing, feeding a multi-stage assembly line with stochastic processing times to satisfy the changing demand.

Originality/value: This study proposes the integrated Kanban-ConWIP hybrid pull control policies and implements several alternatives on a multi-stage and multi-layer manufacturing and assembly production system. An integrated Fuzzy AHP TOPSIS method is developed to evaluate the alternatives with respect to several JIT criteria.


Just-in-time manufacturing, Kanban system, hybrid control policy, multi criteria decision making, fuzzy TOPSIS

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.2528

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2023

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience