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The Constraints and Limitations of Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II)

as a Tool for Shop Floor Control




Martin Mbaya


Submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering on May 5, 2000 in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering







Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) is a planning system used in various industries to manage manufacturing resources. This study explored the suitability of MRP II in controlling the shop floor by analyzing its constraints and limitations. The study is part of a larger effort by MITís Production System Design Laboratory to establish an information system that meets the functional requirements of a physical (manufacturing) system.A literature survey of different books and papers on MRP II and Shop Floor Control was conducted and supplemented by interviews with individuals who have worked with MRP II systems. The production System Design Decomposition, adiagnostic tool developed by the Production System Design Laboratory was then used to determine what the constraintsand limitations facing MRP II on the shop floor were. A case study at company X, a centrifuge manufacturer which uses MRP II in its production process was then used to tie in the issues raised from the literature survey with a real world example. The results of the literature review and the case study both revealed that MRP II was a poor tool for controlling the shop floor and proposed the use of hybrid systems that combined Kanban control with the strong planning capabilities of MRP II.



Thesis Supervisor: David Cochran

Title: Professor of Mechanical Engineering