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The Lean Enterprise. An Introduction to Kanban concepts. Lean Foundations Continuous Improvement Training. Objectives. Learn what Kanbans are and the different way the terminology is used in industry Understand how to setup a kanban Understand how to implement a kanban system.

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The lean enterprise

The Lean Enterprise

An Introduction to Kanban concepts

Lean Foundations

Continuous Improvement Training

The lean enterprise


  • Learn what Kanbans are and the different way the terminology is used in industry

  • Understand how to setup a kanban

  • Understand how to implement a kanban system

Kanban definition
Kanban Definition

What is Kanban?

Kan = "card"

ban = "signal"

  • Card system that controls production & inventory

  • Visual “pull” system vs. a “black box” push system (ie - MRP)

The lean enterprise

Basic Kanban (Pull signal)

  • Kanbans are All Around Us

  • Kanbans are Inventory

  • Inventory Is waste (costly!)

  • Goal Is To Minimize Inventory In Kanbans And Eliminate If Possible

Ultimate Goal of Kanban is to not have a KANBAN !

One-Piece Flow is the Answer !

Benefits of kanban
Benefits of Kanban

  • Primary

    • Eliminate over-production, the #1 waste

    • Produce only what is ordered, when ordered, & quantity ordered

  • Secondary

    • Increase flexibility to meet customer demand

    • Reduction in scheduling by Production Control & Manufacturing

    • Competitive advantage by sequencing shipments to customers (what they want, when they want it, in the order they want it!)

The lean enterprise

No Cards

Visual (Tape On Floor)

Two-Bin or Bin Systems

Supplier Containers

Painted floors, i.e. squares, circles

Card Systems

Electronic Kanbans - Fax or Emails

Warehouse Or Parts Racks

Kanban Boards – Magnetic or Cards


Flow Thru Racks

Supplier Boxes

Kanban Options

The lean enterprise

Production Kanban (non lot production)


Triangle Kanban (for lot production)


Interprocess Kanban


Supplier Kanban

Categories of Kanban

The lean enterprise

Kanban Types

Production or (In-Process)-Kanban

  • Provides production instructions for the work center

  • Tells the workers exactly the quantity and the type of part to produce

  • Used for work centers that produce only one part number or have minimal setups in spite of multiple part number production

    • Rectangular – one piece flow production

    • Triangular – for small lot production


  • Inter-Process Kanban

    • Delivers order for parts from a preceding process

    • Specifies quantity and type of parts to deliver from Location A to Location B

      • Later replenishment system – kanban are filled from suppliers finished goods shelf

      • Sequenced withdrawal – supplier sequences parts in reverse order for truck loading

  • Supplier Kanban

    • Same as an inter-process Kanban, except it signals conveyance of part from an outside supplier

The lean enterprise

Other Kanban Types

Job order-Kanban

  • Issued for each job order


  • When two processes are very close, it doesn’t make sense to issue two Kanbans. Used where one process directly feeds (conveyor) the next process.


  • Where a withdrawal kanban is used as a production ordering kanban if the distance between two processes is very short and share the same supervisor.


  • Temporary, when there is a defect or problem, can be withdrawal or production

The lean enterprise

Rules of the Kanban

  • Never Pass on A Bad Part

  • The Parts Are Always Withdrawn From The Prior Process

  • Produce Only What Is Necessary To Replenish The Quantity Withdrawn

  • Level Load Production, Rapid Changeover, Small Lot Production, Zero Defects

  • Kanban Is Used To Fine Tune (Not Provide For Major Changes)

  • The Process Must Be Capable Of Producing Good Parts (Rational And Stable)

  • Need Efficient Methods Of Transportation, Shortest Routes Possible

  • Disciplined Organization

  • Nothing Is Made or Transported Without A Kanban.

  • Kanban Cards Always Accompany the Parts Themselves.

  • The Number of Kanbans Should Decrease over time.

The lean enterprise

Summary Definition

  • Kanban

    • An Information System That Signals the Need To Start An Event

    • Name For Each Individual Signal (Card Or Otherwise)

  • Purpose

    • Control The Flow of Production by Providing Information Which Interconnects Upstream And Downstream Processes At Every Level

  • Implementation

    • Usually A Piece Of Paper in a Vinyl Envelope Or Container

    • Outline Markings On The Floor

    • Most Common Is Two - Bin System

The lean enterprise


Go and see where you could implement Kanban!

The lean enterprise1

The Lean Enterprise

An Introduction to Kanban concepts

Lean Foundations

Continuous Improvement Training