Original Date: 02/09/1998
Revision Date: 04/22/2003
Information : KanBan Pull Production System
UE established a paperless inventory reduction and production control system based on the Japanese KanBan technique. Before implementing the KanBan system, the factory was full of work orders. Every work order had a priority stamp; some with multiple priority stamps. There was no way to see what the priority sequence should be within the stacks of paper. Many times work orders were duplicated so that the same part was ordered twice.
KanBan is a method of pulling production through the factory based on a customer’s withdrawal of a finished product (a customer order). When the final assembly work center pulls subassemblies for installation in the final products, the subassembly work center is triggered to pull parts for the subassemblies. The parts work center is then triggered to make parts, which in turn triggers the material supplier to provide material. Parts may be housed in 100- part bins with two or more bins in use at one time. The consumer of a part returns the empty bin to the supplier and receives a full one. The empty bin is placed upside down on the storage shelf as an indicator to the supplier to make more parts. When the correct number of parts per bin has been manufactured, the full bin is placed in storage, typically located near the supplying work center. A full bin is always ready for the consuming work center.
Although the number of parts per bin must be kept as low as possible, it still must be great enough to support production needs. The number of bins and parts per bin are tailored to consumer and supplier capabilities. The process requires a monitor to determine when to adjust the number of bins and parts per bin.
UE reduced its inventory costs by 90% for some parts, as well as its storage and handling costs by using the KanBan system. Scrapped or reworked parts in inventory are also lower in a KanBan system, should the supplying work center not immediately detect a manufacturing problem. Since implementing the new system, UE can go from kitting to final assembly completion in 85 minutes instead of several months.
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