After relying, for a period, on the MRP system to launch production orders, we have decided to use the KANBAN method once again. This easy and effective system has accompanied us for more than twenty years.
The Kanban system is a PULL supplies management method designed to achieve high production volumes, while using minimum levels of raw material supplies, WIP (semi-finished products) and fini-shed products.
The term Kanban designates the identification card of a certain quantity of a specific material code, either finished, or semi-finished or to be purchased. It au-thorises replenishment and production of components upstream. Hence, every Kanban presents a code and a quantity, besides its own path. It refers to the material of a warehouse and acts as a mere identification tag when the material is stored in the warehouse.
Unlike the MRP system, in which production “pushes” goods towards clients located downstream and, subsequently, product flow depends on the estimated future demand, the Kanban system does not start from an estimate but rather from the practical need to manifest downstream of the production process. Kanban is, therefore, a management system that can be used to organise a production process that concomitantly ensures flexibility, quality, productivity and a rapid response.
“From a strictly production-related perspective, the scope of such a system is to reduce the entity ofproduction batches in order to also reduce the lead time, and to increase the efficiency and elasticityof the production system.”