Redesigning the Material Supply System of the Automotive Suppliers Based on Lean Principles and An Application

Satoğlu Ş. I., Ucan K.

2015 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM), Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 3 - 05 March 2015 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Dubai
  • Country: United Arab Emirates
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study is to propose a framework to redesign the conventional material supply systems of the automotive supplier companies by considering the demand characteristics and the bill-of materials of the products, on the basis of lean production principles. Especially, pull (Kanban) system, POLCA and kitting were used to replenish components to the assembly line, where appropriate. Pull system and kitting were used in many cases of the automotive sector because of the high material handling costs, space requirements and many product customization requests. Kanban systems were proposed for coordinating the supply of components' with relatively smooth and high demand. For supplying components with low and variable demand, POLCA systems were suggested. Although conventional Kanban systems require replenishment of components by containers, kitting may a better systematic to save space in buffer areas of the assembly lines where products have common components. Therefore, a kitting methodology was also developed in this study, based on clustering of components into the kits. Replenishment of kits of components is coordinated by Kanban. The proposed methodology is applied in an automotive supplier producing air-conditioners. As a result of this application, time spent by the assembly line operators for checking the parts availability was eliminated. Material feeding time was reduced by % 80. Time spent by the production planner for controlling the production requirements were reduced by % 72.