Kanban is a tool of the Just in Time system used for the replenishment of the stocks of the process phases, only when deemed necessary.
This system allows the supply flow to be monitored in real time, avoiding the stock accumulation in the warehouse, with all the costs, accidents and errors that may arise.
The Kanban received a great boost from Toyota organizational system: it is therefore not an innovative system. But, in relation to the technological evolutions that have concerned the last two decades, it is clear that this system has also evolved, taking different shapes, while maintaining the substance of the objectives to be achieved: the Kanban initially took the form of a real physical card.
Today, in the most industrialized companies, it necessarily takes on a “digital” format: software.
The objective of Kanban
The goal of Kanban system is simple. We could divide it in these three points:
- reduction of stocks
- elimination of dead times
- simplification of procedures
The advantages are clear in proportion to the simplicity of the objective:
- reduces stocks considerably
- improves stock accuracy
- it is able to provide quick answers to demand changes
- programming simplification
The logic of Kanban
The adoption of Kanban presumes a change. A change in the flow logic.
Usually the production is seen as a flow that goes from upstream to downstream, from the initial phases to the final assembly.
Kanban reverses the observation point and creates the production process as an operation that goes from upstream to downstream.
The operator can manage the schedules by means of a special interface: plan or reschedule an activity.
The system takes information directly from the ERP. Each planning adds a small block on the list: the green block represents the one currently in production. The «Change model» button enables a new planning.
In this example, there are two routes, with two different supply times: “R09 – Line1” and “R11 – Line1“.
In the second route, you can expand your list for each train (which contains 120 pieces) by clicking on the «+» button.
The colors of the buttons relative to the departure of the train have a precise meaning:
- Gray: the next train is in preparation
- Green: the train is ready for departure
It is also possible to activate a function to configure the packaging robot.
The print function allows the printing of picking lists. Printing starts automatically if there are no picking lists in the queue.
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