Kanban is a Japanese term for a visual system used to trigger activity upstream in a given process. The most important point to remember about a Kanban system is that the best Kanban system is none at all and it is only a substitute for not being able to implement single piece flow in your process.
Part of the Shingo award-winning Manufacturing Insights video series, this program takes you inside Carver Pump Company in Muscatine, Iowa who uses Kanban cards, bins, and visual replenishment to deliver a wide variety of military and commercial pumps.
A second example of Kanban is at Ariens Company in Brillion, Wisconsin who has converted from a computer based inventory control system to using Kanban to trigger each step in the process of building snow blowers and lawn mowers. In the summary, six simple rules are presented that must be followed to make your Kanban system successful.
By Gary Conner
By George N Bullen FSME