A comparison of kitting and continuous supply in in-plant materials supply
Paper in proceedings, 2011
The materials feeding principle of kitting is often discussed in the context of in-plant materials supply, as it has been stated to offer a number of advantages compared to the common alternative of continuous supply (also known as line stocking). However, few detailed studies can be found where the relative effects of using kitting and continuous supply are described. Accordingly, the current paper identifies the relative effects of using kitting and continuous supply, and provides insight into how these effects arise. The paper uses empirical data from two case studies from the Swedish automotive assembly industry. In each of the cases, continuous supply has been replaced by kitting and, consequently, it has been possible to study both kitting and continuous supply in the same production environment. The studied performance areas included man hour consumption, product quality, flexibility, inventory levels and space requirements. Interviews with production engineers, assemblers and operators responsible for the kit preparation within each of the two companies contribute to a broad yet detailed view of the effects associated with the use of kitting and continuous supply.