Controlling a re-entrant manufacturing line via the push-pull point

Dominique Perdaen, Hans Armbruster, Karl G. Kempf, Erjen Lefeber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDecision Policies for Production Networks
PublisherSpringer London
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780857296443
ISBN (Print)9780857296436
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Dispatch policy
  • Re-entrant production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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