How To Implement A Kanban?

By: Rex Stevenson

Lean manufacturing, well known among large corporations, in fact most companies all over the world have implemented some form of lean manufacturing, no matter what their size is. A big part of lean manufacturing is the Kaizen and Kanban methods. But in lean manufacturing these methods cannot exist alone without total facility analysis and the implementation of the lean process in general. The Kanban means one thing that is visible, in Japanese and according to the best lean manufacturing system every product should be made as one until it reaches the customer but this is not very efficient in production methods. Still there are ways of implementing the system of "one" within the lean manufacturing system.

All large corporations have some sort of lean system in place but now even small businesses want to implement lean manufacturing into their business. The problem lies in that small business don't have the funds to bring in a specialist to implement lean manufacturing, so what they have to do is attend a few seminars and then implement lean manufacturing into their business. And along with lean manufacturing, other methods including Kanban and Kaissen can also be included. But all methods rely on each other and cannot function without lean manufacturing as a whole being implemented.

The first thing you want to do is form teams and preferably put as many members as you can who have been through a lean manufacturing course on each team. These teams are put in place so that communication is developed through them for everyone. The process begins with meeting and getting to know everyone in your group then you begin to train employees and then decide on what is the state of your business and how you can make it lean.

What areas you decide to integrate the lean process into your business depends on the overall analisys you have made. This corporate analysis will determine which areas need to be worked on, including departments like production, maintenance, sales engineering, shipping and administrative. The whole company should be analyzed. But the important thing is to start. You will need to make changes along the way and the process will continually grow with the company.

A method used within the lean process is KanBan which in Japanese means a visible thing, and this visible thing helps streamline the production of a product and changes many products into one product. This visible thing can take on the form of an electronic signal. It can even be a bin, a pallet, etc. In an ideal lean system you would produce a product in a quantity of one and follow it all the way to delivery to the client. But a company cannot just produce one product so the kanban takes the place of "one" by being one sequence, one bin of a certain quantity, one pallet of a certain quantity.

A part of the lean process is the KanBan and this is Japanese for something that is visible that helps streamline the production of a product. This visible thing can be something like an electronic signal, an empty bin, a pallet, or whatever it is that holds and organizes inventory.

The Kanban system does not really work on its own without the implementation of a whole lean production system. The whole organization needs to be in place, regarding every department and equipment for the Kanban to work.

The Lean Manufacturing Production System works on the whole corporation and within this process lie other smaller processes like Kanban. You cannot have one system without the other system, just as you cannot implement a lean manufacturing production system without methods like the Kanban and Kaisen methods.

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Lean Manufacturing Secrets can help you and your company increase profits, while reducing wastes. And, on of the first steps you can learn is how to implement a kanban system.

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