What is Kanban? | Rules and Advantages of Kanban Processing

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What is Kanban?
Kanban is a scheduling system for lean and just-in-time (JIT) production. Kanban is a system to control the logistical chain from a production point of view, and is not an inventory control system. Kanban was developed by Taiichi Ohno, at Toyota, to find a system to improve and maintain a high level of production. Kanban is one method through which JIT is achieved.

Kanban became an effective tool in support of running a production system as a whole, and it proved to be an excellent way for promoting improvement. Problem areas were highlighted by reducing the number of kanban in circulation.

It is also  a technique for work and inventory release, is a major component of Just in Time and Lean Manufacturing philosophy. It was originally developed at Toyota in the 1950s as a way of managing material flow on the assembly line. Over the past three decades the Kanban process, a highly efficient and effective factory production system, has developed into an optimum manufacturing environment leading to global competitiveness. Kanban stands for Kan-card, Ban-signal. The essence of the Kanban concept is that a supplier, the warehouse or manufacturing should only deliver components as and when they are needed, so that there is no excess Inventory. Within this system, workstations located along production lines only produce/deliver desired components when they receive a card and an empty container, indicating that more parts will be needed in production. In case of line interruptions, each workstation will only produce enough components to fill the container and then stop. In addition, Kanban limits the amount of inventory in the process by acting as an authorization to produce more Inventory. Since Kanban is a chain process in which orders flow from one process to another, the production or delivery of components are pulled to the production line, in contrast to the traditional forecast oriented method where parts are pushed to the line.


Rules of Kanban:
There are six generally accepted rules for kanban:

1. Downstream processes may only withdraw items in the precise amounts specified on the kanban.
2. Upstream processes may only send items downstream in the precise amounts and sequences specified by the kanban.
3. No items are made or moved without a kanban.
4. A kanban must accompany each item at all times.
5. Defects and incorrect amounts are never sent to the next downstream process.
6. The number of kanbans should be monitored carefully to reveal problems and opportunities for improvement.


Advantages of Kanban Processing :
Provides a simple and understandable process. Provides quick and precise information. There are low costs associated with the transfer of information. Provides quick response to changes.

There is a strict limit of over-capacity in processes. Avoids overproduction. Minimizes waste.

Full control can be maintained. Delegate’sresponsibility to line workers.


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