Experiments toward a practical implementation of an intelligent kanban system

James Z M Zhang*, James Brusey, Robert B. Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents laboratory experiments to test a bottom up approach to production control and supply chain management. Built upon the successful traditional kanban (Card) system, the new intelligent system associates a kanban agent to each physical kanban. Instead of relying on demand forecast and planning, kanban agents reason about their own movements to adapt to changing demands. After previous simulations results of the intelligent system showed significant performance improvements over the traditional system, we further use the Auto-ID Laboratory at Cambridge University to test the feasibility of the idea in a realistic manufacturing environment. The results from the experiments demonstrated the superiority on several performance measures of the intelligent system compared to the traditional system used as a benchmark. Moreover, the implementation of the experiments exposed several real world constraints not shown in the simulation study and practical solutions were adopted to address these.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-268
Number of pages12
JournalLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (Subseries of Lecture Notes in Computer Science)
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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