Industrial manufacturing management software

What is a Pull Manufacturing System?

A “pull system” is a type of manufacturing process where materials are only pulled through the production line when they are needed, instead of up-stream production processes simply producing as much as possible and sending parts downstream to the next operation. This type of system is often used in lean manufacturing operations as it helps to minimize waste and keep inventory levels low.

In a pull system, each production operation has its own dedicated Kanban (or pull signal) which is used to alert when more materials are needed. The Kanban is usually a card or tag that is attached to the finished product. When the Kanban reaches the previous production operation, that operation will produce more of the product and send it down the line to the signaling operation.

One of the main benefits of using a pull system is that it helps to keep inventory levels low. Materials are only produced when they are needed. It also helps to minimize waste as materials are not sitting idle waiting to be used. The lean production process can also free up resources which can be used more effectively elsewhere in the business.

A pull system of manufacturing is different from a traditional (push system) manufacturing process where materials are often produced in large batches and then stored until they are needed. Push systems can result in high levels of inventory which can tie up valuable resources. The over production of materials can lead to wasted production resources and materials which can be costly for firms.

Pull systems can be used in a variety of manufacturing operations, from simple assembly lines to complex manufacturing processes. It does best in markets where there is a large amount of product versions being produced or high fluctuation in demand quantities. Pull systems are also suited to industries where there’s high customization or quicker changes to product specifications like consumer electronics or off-highway equipment manufacturing where products are modified for specific customer needs.

To get the most out of a pull system of manufacturing, employing a computer-based system to manage the process is all but necessary. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) like our MV2 MES can manage the intricacies of a pull system without devoting large amounts of labor to do so. A digital pull management system can also provide real time and historical understanding of production processes that have the potential to create much higher production throughput with far less errors.

If your firm is exploring moving to a pull-system of manufacturing or looking to manage a current pull-system electronically, contact us today. Our highly experienced consultants can help step through the processes necessary to see benefits listed in the text above.

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