The Kanban Approach

What is Kanban?

  • Kanban is an approach to plan your production processes
  • Kanban is based on a pull process, hence it is oriented on real-time consumption of production material
  • That consumption-based approach reduces waste in terms of overproduction and inventory
  • It is highly focused on actual customer demand and leads to a decrease of your internal lead and throughput time

_06_The Kanban Approach_Kanban Card

_06_The Kanban Approach_Lean House

  • Kanban improves your information flow and communication between two (or more) processes
  • Its origin comes from Kanban Cards as the carrier of all relevant information like quantities and product details
  • Whenever your production process empties a box of supplier parts, a Kanban Card is forwarded to an upstream process or supplier to refill that particular box

The Kanban Card

  • The Kanban loop contains the Kanban Cards, full boxes and empty boxes
  • Each Card belongs to 1 box of parts. The more Cards you put inside the loop, the more boxes of parts you will have
  • If the downstream process stops its production, no further Kanban Cards will be passed to the upstream process
  • As each Kanban Card acts as a production order, the upstream process will stop its production as well

Heijunka – The link between Customer Demand and Production

  • The Heijunka Board is the place where all demand cards (Kanban cards) come together.
  • The optimal production plan is created from the sum of the cards.
  • The big advantage is that production continues demand-oriented and therefore no waste in the form of overproduction can arise.


Training document – The Kanban Approach (pptx)
Training document – The Kanban Approach (PDF)