Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. David M. Lyth


This research concentrates on the inventory management decisions within an assembly-type supply chain. The need for this type of investigation is warranted by the fact that intense competition and heightening demand from customers have forced businesses to focus their attention on strengthening their supply chains. The problem is that in any supply chain, there are many factors involved that cause variations and instability within the system. Previous literature indicates that the manipulation of a Kanban system in today's uncertain environment generates unfavorable results. Consequently, the goal is to find a Kanbanmethodology that would produce robust and consistent results even when the supply chain system is subject to an unstable environment.

This research proposes and applies a methodology, based on Taguchi's robust design concept that allows for the implementation of Kanban systems in uncertain environments. A simulation-programming tool, along with Visual Basic, is used to show how this methodology can be used to develop a robust Kanban system under variations in the supply chain environment. A comparison is made between models using a flexible Kanban system designmethodology and a robust Kanban system methodology to prove the superiority of the robust Kanban technique in an unstable supply chain environment.

This investigation would allow today's managers to have an opportunity to compare different methods of Kanban system design in order to make the most informed choice in this area. From a managerial perspective, this procedure can be used not only for the improvement of Kanban system design for the supply chain, but also to identify important factors within the supply chain for improvement.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Engineering Commons