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Topic Title: First step to pull flows
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Created On: 08/23/2019 10:14 AM
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08/26/2019 10:36 AM
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Arnaud deline

Hello everyone,

I am joining your community with the hope of finding some help!

I recently joined a textile factory which is quite old and works with pull flow since years. As you know the rocks at the bottom of the lake are big and well hidden by the water. I would like to start emptying a bit of this lake by pulling the flows.

But the specificities of the textile sector that I am new to, make the task complicated. I have no idea what to start with. I explain you quickly the process:

Basically, the first step is to transform rolls of fabric into cut pieces.

Then the cut pieces are split into 2 flows:
-Pieces ready to be sewn
-Pieces that need more transformation (molding)

The pieces that need more transformation are transfered to the molding workstation that invloves 16 machines. The flow in the next workstations is pretty smooth so I'm not gonna focus on it yet.

To make the task harder, each cut piece can be transformed on a selection of machines.

Finally when the two flows join again, we gather the cut and molded pieces to feed 19 sewing lines.

The main problem is that in order to optimize the fabric consumption, the cutting machines cut mattresses of variable layers. One mattress is made of a unique fabric, and can mix the patterns of all the finished goods references using this fabric. So one cutting job can feed several lines with very variable quantities.

I want to implement a kanban between the cuting machines and the molding workstation. Any idea how to do this with such a mess? Should I create some variable lot size? Maybe using someting else than a kanban?

Waiting to hearing from your good ideas and discuss about some industrial headache.

08/30/2019 10:15 AM
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Craig Johnston

Hi Arnuad
When looking at implementing Kanban, you need to start at the Customer demand then work back to production lines , then you supply to the production lines(Kanban)
I have done it this way and it works well.
You should have some sort of system(Planning) to see your demand per line based on orders in the system(production lines). Work back from this as to how much you need to feed each line. remember to build in an contingency allowance.
Hope this helps
Craig Johnston
09/04/2019 04:50 PM
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Kyle Meyers

In make-to-order situations, Kanban does not always work. Think about flow lanes. There is also two key elements to make sure you identify: pacemaker and bottleneck.Pull up to the pacemaker, flow after the pacemaker. Schedule to the bottleneck.

Also, creating separate cells for the transformed and non transformed fabric will help manage the production and flow for both. These can start after cutting where the fabric is optimized.
09/04/2019 04:50 PM
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Danny Luo


Are the material to mold very customized or very standard. It is quite easy to use kanban on standard WIP while very difficult on customized material, each order has its own material and size etc.