KANBAN (Pull Systems)
KanBan is often seen as a central element of “Lean” manufacturing and is probably the most widely used type of “Pull” signaling system. Kanban stands for Kan- card, Ban- signal and as you probably guessed, is of Japanese origin.
Simply described a “pull” production system controls the flow of work through a factory by only releasing materials into production as the customer demands them i.e. only when they are needed. A “push” system on the other hand would release material into production as customer orders are processed and material becomes available, MRP (Material Requirement Planning / Manufacturing Resource Planning) systems are typically “push” systems. What must be made clear at this point is that Kanban is not a scheduling system but rather a production control system.
Kanban provides a number of benefits
Reduces inventory and product obsolescence.
Since component parts are not delivered until just before they are needed, there is a reduced need for storage space. Should a product or component design be upgraded, that upgrade can be included in the final product ASAP. There is no inventory of products or components that become obsolete.
Reduce waste and scrap
With Kanban, products and components are only manufactured when they are needed. This eliminates overproduction. Raw materials are not delivered until they are needed, reducing waste and cutting storage costs.
Provides flexibility in production
If there is a sudden drop in demand for a product, Kanban ensures you are not stuck with excess inventory. This gives you the flexibility to rapidly respond to a changing demand.
The flow of Kanban (cards, bins, pallets, etc.) will stop if there is a production problem. This makes problems visible quickly, allowing them to be corrected ASAP. Kanban reduces wait times by making supplies more accessible and breaking down administrative barriers. This results in an increase in production using the same resources.
Reduces Total Cost By:
- Preventing Over Production
- Developing Flexible Work Stations
- Reducing Waste and Scrap
- Minimizing Wait Times and Logistics Costs
- Reducing Stock Levels and Overhead Costs
- Reducing Inventory Costs
Success stories on how Kaizen Institute Consulting Group applies these and other lean methods.