Kanban is a Japanese word which literally means
“sign board” or “billboard”.
It was developed by Taiichi Ohno, at Toyota, in 1953, to
find a system to improve and maintain a high level of
It is a concept related to lean and just-in-time (JIT)
It is a scheduling system that tells you “what to
produce”, “when to produce”, and “how much to
What Kanbans Do
Controls the amount of raw material amounts and of
materials in Work In Process (WIP).
Smooth's out the entire material flow, if sized properly.
Tells when and where there is a problem in the
Assures there is always just enough material on hand
to make what is needed.
Create Information System that Supports Lean Principles
Pull of Product Based on Usage
Lower Inventory / Reduced Lead-Time
Types of Kanbans
Raw Material Kanban – tells suppliers when to send
how much of particular item to a particular place.
WIP Kanban – determines the amount of Work In
Process that can be kept between any two operations
in a process.
Finished Goods Kanban – determines the amount of
a product to be kept on hand at any given time.
Removal of material from the Finished Goods Kanban
acts as a signal for more of that product to be
Types of Kanban Signals
A calculated amount of material kept in a designated
space, such as a bin on a workbench or on the floor.
A card that is used to tell the amount of material to be
made or ordered.
The markings on a bin that determines when more
material needs to be ordered or made.
Any other clear visual signal that indicates it is time
to get more material.
develop Tasks in queue
Tasks in progress Tasks
Flow of Kanban Signals
Supplier Signal Move Signal Customer Signal
Raw Materials Kanban
All of the RM used to manufacture a particular
product are identified as well as the number used in
The goal is to order at the point when the number of
parts on hand reach the amount that will be used up
during the time it takes to order and get the new
needed parts delivered (Lead time).
Usually, because of variability in the lead time, the
amount of reordered parts is a bit more than the
amount of parts needed to cover order lead time.
Raw Material Kanban Card
Kanban Signal NumberSupplier Name
Part Number Quantity Card No.
Store Address Work Unit
Work In Process Kanban
Materials flow demands a very well balanced manufacturing
line, meaning that each process station uses approximately
the same amount of time to do the necessary work.
First, the process times at each station are calculated.
Then, when one station has to take significantly more time
to do its work than previous stations, Kanbans are put in to
keep material batching to a minimum.
WIP Kanban Card
WORK UNIT ADDRESSSTORE ADDRESS
SUPPLIER NAME Kanban Signal No. WORK UNIT NAME
PART No. QUANTITY CARD #
Finished Goods Kanban
The demand for a particular product is tracked over
Based on the demand, the safety stock is calculated,
(e.g. a day or a week).
Based upon the demand, it is then calculated how many
of the product needs to be made per day.
Kanbans are set up in the shipping area with the
amount of product that has been determined as
required safety stock.
Finished Goods Kanban Card
Elimination of Waste
Grows the Business
Internal and external.
Strengthens the resources.
Improves the Competitive Position
Continually strives for perfection.
Reduces the cost.
Eliminate wastes in operations.
Support Visual Control
Are we behind?
What do I produce first?
What is my inventory situation?
Large inventories hide problems
Facilitate continuous improvement