QRM News

16
Apr

Suri Publishes New Book: “The Practitioner's Guide to POLCA”

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"We had struggled to implement a pull system for our high-mix, low-volume products. Through implementing POLCA we dramatically reduced our WIP, freeing up cash and creating additional space for manufacturing. In addition, our internal chaos decreased, and customer satisfaction and profitability increased." – Tom Schabel, CEO, Alexandria Industries, Alexandria, Minnesota

 

 

"Implementing POLCA was revolutionary for our company. Now our delivery time is revolutionary for our customers!" – Godfried Kaanen, President & CEO, Bosch Hinges, The Netherlands

 

Dr. Rajan Suri, UW Professor emeritus and founding director of the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing, has published a new book, “The Practitioner’s Guide to POLCA: The Production Control System for High-Mix, Low-Volume and Custom Products.”

POLCA stands for Paired-cell Overlapping Loops of Cards with Authorization. POLCA is a card-based visual control system that manages the flow of jobs through the shop floor: at each operation, it controls which job should be worked on next to meet delivery targets. POLCA ensures that upstream operations use their capacity effectively by working on jobs that are needed downstream, while at the same time preventing excessive work-in-process (WIP) build-ups when bottlenecks appear unexpectedly.

POLCA is particularly suited to companies manufacturing high-mix, low-volume and customized products. Such companies struggle with long lead times, late deliveries, and daily expediting to meet delivery dates. ERP systems are not designed to deal with this highly variable environment, and add-on software such as Finite Capacity Scheduling systems can require complex installation. Also, the Kanban system does not work well with low-volume or custom production. POLCA has delivered impressive results in such environments. The crowning aspect of POLCA is that it is simple. It does not require any complex software implementation: it can be used without an ERP system or it can seamlessly complement an existing ERP system. This book:

  • Provides a step-by-step roadmap on how to implement POLCA; invaluable for both companies that wish to implement POLCA as well as consultants and academics advising such companies.
  • Explains the concepts in practical and easy-to-understand terms with detailed shop-floor examples.
  • Includes over 100 illustrations for understanding how POLCA works as well as for elaborating on details of the implementation steps.
  • Contains case studies written by company owners and executives documenting their POLCA implementation process and the results achieved in various industries in six countries.

The book is available for purchase under the Publications tab on the QRM Center's website.

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