This paper aims to propose a combined methodology to help decision makers in evaluating and selecting the most effective part feeding system.
As a first step of the methodology, a hierarchical clustering analysis is applied to design a kitting or hybrid feeding system. Second, activity-based costing methodology is applied to determine which system is better according to their costs. Besides, sensitivity analysis is implemented to observe the behavior of the system in case of the takt time changes.
Using kitting systems purely can lead to problems because of the big and expensive parts in the mixed-model assembly systems. Therefore, the hybrid feeding policy can provide better solutions for such systems.
A case study is conducted in a company and the most produced product of the company is considered to design the part feeding system. Results indicated that transportation cost has a large proportion on the total cost and the hybrid feeding policy may be a good solution to reduce this cost.
The paper includes implications for the design of hybrid feeding systems in lean-based assembly lines. The proposed methodology may be a practical tool for decision makers to design and decide on the part feeding policy.