A way to implement the pull system in a disassembly line is to use a multi-kanban model. The model employs several types of kanbans attached to both components and subassemblies. The heart of the system lies in the kanban routing mechanism which allows routing of kanbans in multi-directions based on real time conditions. This mechanism creates minimum amount of residual inventory while satisfying varying demand levels. It also helps regulate the requests for subassembly from upstream workstations when a breakdown occurs at a workstation. This reduces blockage and starvation of subassemblies at workstations other than the broken workstation. In this paper, we discuss the difficulties involved in utilizing the multi-kanban mechanism. We thoroughly investigate several scenarios of the disassembly line setting including a scenario with common products, a scenario with component discriminating demand, a scenario in the presence of products with multiple precedence relationships, and a scenario with workstation breakdowns. These scenarios represent various disassembly environments that a facility may face when dealing with the disassembly of both single and multiple products on a single line. In each scenario, we examine effectiveness of the multi-kanban model using three performance measures, viz., the inventory level, the level of satisfied demand, and the customer waiting time. We compare these results with the ones generated from the same line that employs a traditional push system. Using simulation, we demonstrate that the overall performance of the disassembly line using multi-kanban mechanism outperforms the disassembly line with the traditional push system.


Originally published in the Proceedings of the SPIE International Conference on Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing VI, Boston, Massachusetts, pp. 42-53, October 1-3, 2006


JIT, Kanban, Disassembly

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Production engineering





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Copyright 2006, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers


This paper was published in Proceedings of SPIE (Volume 6385) and is made available as an electronic reprint with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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