Kanban is an information system used to ascertain that production occurs only when the demand is created downstream.
Kanban is a visual tool used to achieve just in time (JIT) production.
Type of Kanban
1. Production Kanban: It specifies the kind and quantity of product that the upstream process (supplier) must produce. This is also known as push Kanban
2. Withdrawal Kanban: This specifies the kind and quantity of product that the downstream process (customer) may withdraw. This tool is known as pull kanban
The two work in tandem. See the below diagram for the flow.
The six Kanban rules
To achieve just-in-time (JIT) product, one should follow ‘Six Kanban rules’
Rule 1: Never ship defective items.
Rule 2: The customer withdraws only what is needed.
Rule 3: Produce only the quantity withdrawn by the customer.
Rule 4: Level production - the production orders should be stable, say, we can’t order 50 pieces in one hour and 250 pieces in the next hour, if our processes are to produce right part, in right quantity, in right time.
Rule 5: Use Kanban to fine tune production. The customer withdrawal of product should be at a constant rate. Example: customer department should not demand 100 pieces in the first hour, and 200 pieces in the next which results in stocking and hence collapse of the whole system.
Rule 6: Stabilise and strengthen the process. Reduce Muda, Mura and Muri by implementing poka yokes (to detect errors), reduce walk time /awkward postures that strain team members, and rationalize layouts.
Read previous parts of BIG FAT LEAN series
Part#1: What is Lean Manufacturing Technology?
Part#2: Benefits of Lean Manufacturing
Part#3: 8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing
Part#4: The 5S system - An essential in Lean Manufacturing tool
This is a guest submission by Vijayalaxmi Meharwade.