Inventories are the materials stored either waiting for processing or experiencing processing and in some cases for future delivery. Inventories are treated both as blessings and evil. As they are like money placed in a drawer, assets tied up in investments, incurring costs for the care of the stored material and also subject to spoilage and obsolescence there have been a spate of programs developed by industries, all aimed at reducing inventory levels and increasing efficiency on the shop floor. Nevertheless, they do have positive purposes such as stable source of input required for production, less replenishment and may reduce ordering costs because of economies of scale. Finished goods inventories provide for better customer service. So formulating a suitable inventory model is one of the major concerns for an industry. Again considering reliability of any process is an important trend in the current research activities. Inventory models could be both deterministic and probabilistic and both of which must account for the reliability of the associated production process. This paper discusses the major works in the field of inventory modeling driven by reliability considerations, which ranges from the very beginning to latest works just published.
With the development of faster means of communication, better quality computers and rapid transportation systems, manufacturing is no longer restricted at local level, but has become global in character. As a manufacturing company has to become competitive for its survival, it has to supply products of consistent high quality at reliable and reduced delivery time. Market also demands more product variants that means reduced lot size and high flexibility in operations. Manpower cost has also risen. All these factors tend to increase the product cost. However, the industry has to maintain the cost at a reasonable level. Confronting these challenges, companies world-wide are forced to find ways to reduce costs, improve quality, and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. One successful solution has been the adoption of Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing strategy in which many functional areas of a company such as manufacturing, engineering, marketing, purchasing etc. are involved. In this paper, literature review on research works based on JIT was carried out and presented. The introductory section deals with the philosophy of JIT, and the concept involved in Kanban optimization and later this paper reviews literature on optimization Technique in JIT implementation.