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How To Implement A Kanban In Lean Manufacturing

Jun 12, 2008
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.

Even small businesses are implementing different forms of the lean system. The only problem is that they don't have the funds to bring in a specialist to implement it into their business. What they do is attend a seminar or two and try to implement lean manufacturing into their business. Along with lean manufacturing, certain methods are included like Kanban and the kaissen method, but one method does not work without initiating the whole (lean manufacturing).

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 within the lean manufacturing system is the KanBan, which is Japanese, meaning something that is visible that helps in the transporting, moving or production of a product. This visible thing can be an electronic signal which signals the moving of a product from one station to another, a pallet on which product is put and then moved to another area, a bin with the same intentions, or anything similar.

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.

As mentioned before the kanban method cannot be started and worked with efficiently until you really understand how lean manufacturing works. If you don't have the right organization and equipment the kanban system will not make much of a difference.

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.
About the Author
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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