There has been much discussion on the merits of different production control philosophies, particularly MRPII, OPT and JIT. A consensus is emerging that these philosophies are not mutually exclusive, and some companies are beginning to mix and match different approaches to meet their particular needs. The design of hybrid production control systems requires the establishment of a theory of production control that embraces, but is independent of, the well‐defined philosophies of MRPII, OPT and JIT. Without such an understanding of production control there is no framework within which to build hybrid production control systems. Five universal principles of production control are set out, and it is shown how these principles can be used to construct the Integrated Production Control (IPC) Model. This model provides the conceptual framework necessary for the design of hybrid production control systems. The relationships of MRPII, OPT, and kanban, the classical JIT scheduling system, are explored, and areas of strength and weakness identified.
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