Advance CNC Machining – Implementing your Kanban system

A Kanban system is a scheduling system that is often used in JIT and lean production.

[blockquote author=”” link=”” link_title=”” target=””]The word Kanban is a Japanese word meaning “signboard”.[/blockquote]

The system was developed by Toyota to improve and maintain high levels of production.  Operators use a visual signal, or Kanban card, to determine how many parts to run, when to stop or when to change production to a different part.  This Kanban card signals that there is a depletion of a specific part within a manufacturing or production facility or that an outside supplier needs to replenish the predetermined stock of the part.  A Kanban system aims to replace forecasted usage with actual usage to reduce and theoretically eliminate work-in-progress material and inventory.  This continuous process also minimizes distractions and disruptions during a production process.

An example of how Advance CNC Machining works with original equipment manufacturers that use a Kanban system might involve a “three bin system”, each with a Kanban card.  One bin would be on the customer’s factory floor, one bin would be in the factory’s inventory and one bin would be in Advance’s inventory.  When the factory floor bin becomes empty it is replaced with the full bin in the factory’s inventory.  The empty bin is then sent to Advance which signals us to send back a full bin and start production on the next predetermined quantity of parts.  Essentially, consumption drives the demand for more production.

A Kanban system can minimize your lead time and inventories so you have stock of parts only when required and in the needed quantity.  One of the great things about a Kanban system is the ability to continuously deliver products while continuously improving the process. There are many advantages to using a kanban system as a way to manage work, including:

  • Flexibility
  • Improved cash flow
  • Focus on continuous delivery
  • Reduction of wasted work and time
  • Increased productivity & efficiency
  • Team members’ ability to focus


Advance CNC Machining can work with you to offer forward planning, production management services to support your Kanban, JIT and lean programs.  Contact us to discuss your inventory management needs.