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Apr 20, 2011

The Eight Types of Kanban System

The real definition of kanban is that this is a system of scheduling that defines to the person what he or she should produce, the time he or she should produce it and how to do the process. When translated to Japanese, the word means billboard or signboard. This is generally a concept that is lined to just in time production as well as lean manufacturing. The developer of the JIT concept named Taiichi Ohno said that in order to achieve JIT, there is a need to perform the kanban system. At present, there are two popular types of kanban system but in reality, there are six main ones. Learning about them will enable you to understand and discover what you need to design, implement, chose and operate.

The input or output control kanban, which has two variants. This is also known as the ConWip which stands for constant work in progress. This is a type of the kanban system that imposes control on input/output. The signal here travels directly beginning from the end of the line to the next section. This is where the supply chain is considered as one unit instead of taking it as a series of connected operations. Of course, there are some special conditions that are required in the system operation in order for it to avoid concealed problems regarding capacity. The downside here is that the considerations are not so vivid and visible upon the use of the method.

The next is the kanban accumulator wherein the signals are enabled to be accumulated at the work center in anticipation of the batch size of the production. Thus, this means that buffers can be exhausted or depleted on the condition of the accumulation rules. Since buffers are used up, it is possible to accommodate slightly higher mixes. Then we have the dual card system, which comes in two variants as well. This was first used by Toyota and from then it is learned that there are two methodologies involved here. The first one is about the separation of the replenished signal from the kanban system and the "produce" signal from the scheduling system of the organization. The other variation generates the 2nd card which is after the authorization process. This is a result of the replenishment requests.

Another type is the variable quantity or the fixed frequency system. This is ideal for those situations wherein it is more preferred to replenish the items that have been used through fixed frequency collections or deliveries instead of responding to replenishment requests based on fixed quantities. The last one is all about the POLCA system which is only applicable for variable route and high-mix situations. This is also known as the quick response manufacturing.

With the kanban system, you get advantages such as low fixed stock, problems on quality are visible and it is a highly stable system for scheduling. As advantageous as it may be, there is a need to design and manage the kanban system correctly in order to avoid the disadvantages.