Lean-pull strategy in a re-entrant manufacturing environment: A pilot study for TFT-LCD array manufacturing

Taho Yang, Chiung Hsi Hsieh, Bing Yuan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The increase of a panel's size in thin film transistor - liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD), results in an increase in stock space and increased cost from work-in-process (WIP). This paper proposes a lean-pull strategy, combining buffers with CONWIP (CONstant work-in-process), which results in shared resources to a re-entrant process in TFT-LCD manufacturing. The buffer size and CONWIP levels are the decision variables and are solved by simulation optimisation. The proposed procedure is applied to a factory that manufactures TFT-LCD. The study shows that the proposed lean-pull strategy can reduce the cycle time and achieve a reduction of 34.57% in WIP. The automated material handling systems (AMHS) stocker utilisation can be reduced from 62.13% to 18.49% without additional investment or facilities. Sensitivity analysis indicates the maximum daily throughput will achieve over 10% improvement. The empirical results from this pilot study provide useful managerial insights for the production control of array manufacturing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1529
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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