Lean Definition


Kanban literally mean “ Signboard” or “billboard”, is a concept related to lean and just-in-time (JIT) production. According to Taiichsi Ohno, the man credited with developing just-in-time, Keban is one means through which JIT is achieved.

Kanban is a card or signboard that is attached to specific parts in the production line signifying the delivery of a given quantity. The quantity authorised per individual Kanban is minimal, ideally one. The number of circulating or available Kanban is determined by the demand rate for the item and the time required to produce or acquire more. This number generally is established and remains unchanged unless demand or other circumstances are altered dramatically; In this way, inventory is kept under control while production is forced to keep pace with shipment volume. A routine exception to this rule is that managers and workers are continually exhorted to improve their processes and thereby reduce the number of Kanban required.

When fully implemented, Kanban ( the plural is the same as the singular) operates according to the following rules:

All production and movement of parts and material take place only required by a downstream operation, i.e. all manufacturing and procurement are ultimately driven by the requirements of final assembly or the equivalent.

Kanban has various formats and contents as appropriate for their usage; for example, a Kanban for a vendor is different that a Kanban for an internal machining operation.

Kanban is not an inventory control system, Rather, it is a scheduling system that tells you what to produce, when to produce it and how to produce.

The need to maintain a high rate of improvements led Toyota to devise the Kanban system Kanban became an effective tool to support the running of the production system as a whole. In addition, it provided to be an excellent way for promoting improvements because reducing the number of Kanban in circulation highlighted problem areas

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